Bhopal gas victims account for 75% of COVID-19 deaths: NGOs

Nearly 75% of the patients who have died due to complications from COVID-19 in the capital city till June 11 were the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, NGOs working for their welfare said on Monday.
Most of these gas victims had fragile immunity, they said.
“We have written a letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan drawing the governments attention towards this disturbing trend, Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) convener Rachna Dhingra told PTI.
BGIA and three other NGOs, working for survivors of the worlds worst industrial disaster, have carried out an analysis that claims that 48 of the 60 patients, who died due to coronavirus till June 11 in the state capital, were also gas victims.
These 48 fatalities included three persons who were born to parents exposed to the toxic gas leak 35 years ago, the NGOs’s analysis said.
These mortalities show survivors and their children were suffering even 35 years after the toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas spewed out from the Union Carbide plant here, said Dhingra.
The analysis has revealed that 81 per cent gas victims who died due to COVID-19 had comorbidities (pre-existing health conditions), she said.
“Of course, their exposure to the toxic gas has left them in a state of permanent disability,” she contended.
We want the state government to hold talks with us and gas tragedy survivors to find a way to help them,” Dhingra added.
The four groups (NGOs) working for the survivors have come out with the right analysis,” said Purnendu Shukla, a member of the Supreme Courts Monitoring Committee for Gas Victims.
The government should take the analysis seriously.
The state government does not even have data of gas victims which is very disturbing,” he added.
The Indian Council of Medical Research-run Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC), the dedicated superspeciality hospital meant for the survivors, was not taking proper care of the victims, he added.
We are going to inform the court about these things,” Shukla said.
The other three NGOs involved in the exercise were Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila, Purush Sangharsh Morcha and Children Against Dow-Carbide.
A state government official they were aware of the analysis.
Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Director Basant Kurre said they were aware of the analysis.
Twenty deceased were gas victims. We are checking whether others, too, were gas tragedy survivors, he said.
“The government is working for the welfare of gas victims,” Kurre added.