The organisations working among the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster have written to the Chief Minister apprising him of the fact that 75% of the city’s COVID-19 deaths are of Bhopal gas victims and those exposed to MIC are bearing the brunt of this epidemic. The deaths of gas victims caused by the Novel CoronaVirus infection establishes the fact that after 35years the medical condition of gas victims is fragile as they have suffered permanent damage due to exposure to Union Carbide’s toxic gases. “It is precisely for this reason that we are requesting the Chief Minister to correct the figures in the curative petition pending in the Supreme Court and seek adequate compensation for 5,21,322 for the permanent injury caused to them by Union Carbide & Dow Chemical,” says Rashida Bee of Bhopal Gas Peedit Stationary Karmchari Sangh.
The organisations had written to several state and central government officials on March 21 & April 23 apprising them of the fact that gas victims were 5 times more vulnerable to COVID-19 and if special attention was not given to them several will die from it. “The analysis of 60 deaths shows that among the COVID-19 deaths of people under the age of 60, 85% of those are gas victims. It is not only the older gas victims who are dying and the overwhelming younger people who die are also gas victims”, said Nawab Khan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha.
Out of the gas victims who died due to COVID-19, 81% had comorbidities as a result of gas exposure. 75% of the gas victims died within 5 days of hospital stay & 84% of the gas victims died within 24 hours of hospital admission. “That is why we stressed on testing and monitoring high risk gas victims. Despite the MP High Court order of 21 April which directs Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research centre to test gas victims visiting its hospital. This Indian Council for Medical Research run hospital turned away several suspected gas victim patients who reported in the casualty ward. This refusal to admission and referring to another government hospital has killed at least 5 gas victims who later on tested positive and the most crucial time was wasted in denying admission to these gas victims. While this criminal negligence continues in BMHRC, ICMR has turned a blind eye to the plight of one of the most vulnerable people, said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information & Action.
“The Chief Minister encourages all the people of the state to fight COVID-19 and we just hope that our Chief Minister will stand with the gas victims with the same enthusiasm and will tell the Supreme Court that when 75% of COVID-19 deaths in Bhopal are those of gas victims then there injury could not be temporary in nature. We are also hopeful that our CM will also do its duty by correcting the figures on deaths and extent of injuries in the Supreme Court as well, says Nausheen Khan of Children Against Dow-Carbide.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh 9425688215
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha 9165347881
|Rachna Dhingra,Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information and Action 9826167369
Children Against Dow Carbide 7987353953
 Analysis of 60 Deaths due to COVID19