The second wave of COVID-19 in India has taken a heavy toll on healthcare infrastructure, with 4,12,262 new coronavirus cases reported on May 6, 2021. Citizens are overwhelmed, with many among those severely affected unable to get ICU beds, oxygen cylinders or even ambulances.
Filmmaker Avinash Das took to social media to share an image where a man can be seen carrying a dead body on a rickshaw. Das criticised Prime Minister Modi in the tweet.
Cartoonist Manjul (@MANJULtoons) also shared the image on Twitter and wrote, “This is new India…”
Image from 2017
A reverse image search of the viral image on Yandex led us to a report by Patrika, published on September 1, 2017. According to the report, a newly married woman had died by suicide in Gurdaha village of Uttar Pradesh. The police were informed about the death and the body was kept sealed in the district hospital. The next day the family had to wait for several hours for an ambulance to arrive to take the body for postmortem. Disappointed with the non-arrival of the ambulance, the family took it upon themselves to carry the body on a rickshaw.
The report by Patrika also attached a video statement of the relatives. A similar report was carried by CMN news on YouTube.
While this image is not recent, over the last month there have been several instances of families taking patients to hospitals themselves due to lack of ambulances.