The images out of India are heartbreaking and the death toll is devastating as COVID-19 ravages the world's seventh-largest country.
"For the last five days, 350,000 thousand people have been infected by COVID and almost 2,500 people are dying on a daily basis and there is a lack of oxygen," said Srikanth Gundavarapu of SEWA International.
Members of SEWA International have spent the last few weeks raising money online to purchase oxygen concentrators. The medical devices filter nitrogen and compress oxygen from the air--a much-needed resource for treating covid patients.
"We're able to get 2,200 oxygen concentrators that are going to fly tonight and will be delivered to India May 2nd and 3rd and distributed throughout the country after they arrive in New Delhi next week.
SEWA International is a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, nonprofit service organization. Many members live in metro Atlanta and have families back home in India.
"Kids are losing parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles. It's a very dire situation," said Gundavarapu, who was instrumental in getting the oxygen concentrators ordered and shipped from a Birmingham, Alabama company.
Health experts say India's COVID rate dropped significantly by February 2021, leading authorities to roll back restrictions before the majority of the population was vaccinated. People started attending religious festivals, weddings, and other events with large crowds. As infection rates suddenly surged, hospitals were forced to turn away Covid patients who, inevitably, infected even more Indian adults and children.
"There is a lot of love and a lot of grief that has come in India. We all just have to stay strong and do what we can. We'll all come out of this. It's a humanitarian crisis, not just an Indian crisis," said Gundavarapu.
To learn how you can help send medical supplies to India, visit sewausa.org.
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