Since March, cases have been rising at an incredible rate: in the 24 hours from Tuesday (27 April) to Wednesday morning, 360,960 new cases of the virus were reported, according to health ministry data - a new global high.
The extreme surge, experts believe, could have been due to a new variant - B.1.617 - as well as the mixing that took place at annual religious event the Kumbh Mela, which saw 3.5 million people gather in the state of Uttarakhand. In addition, the vaccine rollout has been slow.
India is currently on its knees as the healthcare system is seriously overwhelmed by the ever-increasing number of cases.
The country is suffering a critical shortage of oxygen required to treat sick patients. There is a lack of ICU beds and some people have even been turned away from receiving treatment.
We are a global community battling the coronavirus pandemic simultaneously. Alongside government aid, here’s what we as individuals can do to help India through this devastating surge.
Who to support?
Making the Difference- The Indian charity is working on the ground to assist vulnerable people who are in crisis right now. The charity has donated 140,000 litres of oxygen and 20 hospital beds. They are also providing meals to people quarantining.
KhalsaAid - UK-based organisation KhalsaAid is appealing for oxygen concentrator machines that it will send to India to assist with the shortage. The equipment must have a capacity of between 4 and 10 litres, have an airflow of between 4 and 10 litres per minute and voltage must be A.C. 220V ~ 50Hz.
BreatheIndia - This fundraiser is led by alumni from the Indian Institutes of Technology in conjunction with the SaveLife Foundation. They are asking for donations towards the procurement of oxygen concentrators for hospitals in Delhi - one of the worst-hit areas.
Seva Kitchen - Based in the Nagpur area, Seva Kitchen is helping people who have lost their income due to the pandemic and cannot afford to eat. The organisation is also offering free food to coronavirus patients.
ActionAid - The NGO is responding to the immediate crisis and plans to deliver 8,000 safety and sanitation kits, including PPE. It will also set up vaccination camps and reach out to vulnerable communities and migrant workers to ensure they have the most up-to-date information.
Transgender Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust (TWEET) Foundation- An organisation specifically supporting India’s transgender community, TWEET is asking for donations to help ensure they can keep providing shelter to the communities in Delhi and Mumbai during the second wave.
Rapid Response - The disaster relief agency is India’s premier agency for disaster response. In the wake of the second wave, they are providing Covid-19 relief in the form of healthcare support (providing hospitals with PPE, beds and pulse oximeters which measure oxygen levels) and food and hygiene relief to the vulnerable.
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