India is currently in the middle of a horrific crisis as the number of deaths and infections due to COVID-19 increases. In Montreal, a community of Indian diaspora is rallying to help their loved ones back at home.
On Sunday, Indian reported almost 3, 700 deaths and 400, 000 new cases of COVID-19. So far, 216, 000 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic. At the moment, hospitals are in their full capacity and there is an oxygen shortage.
The Montreal Indian community has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for oxygen concentrators, a device that enables oxygen to be delivered to the patient directly with a tank.
So far, Kohli’s clothing company, Matt & Nat has donated $10, 000. Kohli says the goal is to go for weeks and collect more. The GoFundMe has almost collected $40, 000.
According to Madhukar Pai, an epidemiology professor at McGill University, the situation in India is dire. He termed the gap between what is available on the ground and the need is enormous.
Pai added that an implementation plan to be taken by the country’s public health system would determine the rate Indian will flatten the curve.
“There are certain states that have gone into a full lockdown and those lockdowns are like a circuit breaker and we’ll start to see the dip in the number of cases. But there are other places where not enough is being done.”
Pai criticized Indian for prematurely declaring victory over COVID-19. Pai added that only a handful percentage of the Indian population has been inoculated against the COVID-19 vaccine and Pai is asking western countries to help.
“We cannot just vaccinate rich countries and hope we’ll end the pandemic here. We’ve got to end the pandemic for everybody. Otherwise. These pandemics will keep popping in other parts of the world and the strains and variants will keep traveling across the world.”