On April 20th, one of the largest hospitals in New Delhi, India, announced that they had merely 3 hours left of oxygen ventilators for their 1,400 COVID patients in critical condition, Dr. Pri Datta recalled. Many patients ran out of oxygen that night, even after their loved ones and friends were told to steal any oxygen cylinders they could find as a last resort. Crematoriums in New Delhi were unable to process the volume of COVID fatalities like these, and thus many families sought instruction on how to preserve the dead bodies of their loved ones at home. Health care expert Smarita Sengupta corroborated with her first-hand witness of the new COVID strain exploding in India.
This crisis led Aaroogya’s team in partnership with our sponsor Silicon Valley Global Health to hold a forum on April 21st, discussing how our teams and health care workers in India can help abate the dire circumstances in India brought on by the new COVID wave.
In the two weeks leading up to our April 21st meeting, COVID infections grew in Delhi from around 6,000 or 5,000 a day, to 30,000 per day, public health professional Dr. Dhruv Kacker said. Since this new strain has a short incubation period which can yield symptoms in just hours, the most thorough testing, which takes at least 3-5 days to bear a result, has been made impotent in many cases; by the time tests generate results, patients are often in the final stages of the disease. Even if the tests were effective for diagnosing the new strain, Dr. Kacker pointed out that still, the rate of infection is too high for India’s health care infrastructure to administer enough tests quickly enough.
Social distancing is strenuous to instate considering India’s dense population, and lower-income communities often do not have the resources to buy preventative masks and sanitizer. Those who are at high risk but have lacking means to protect themselves or their loved ones are required to scramble desperately for any possible help; Dr. Kacker told of an Indian oxygen cylinder transport being robbed on its way to a hospital, and Dr. Datta spoke about how vaccines are so scarce that wealthier citizens have spent thousands of dollars to obtain just one vaccine dose, while those of less means have resorted to injecting any steroid, medicine, or otherwise which could to any extent protect them from the new COVID tide.
If you are interested in viewing the event, please visit the link below:
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We also launched a campaign to raise money for masks, which will be distributed to those in India who cannot afford them. If you are interested in donating money to fund masks for $2 each, click the link below: