CHICAGO: As COVID-19 case counts reach lows not seen since the beginning of the pandemic across the United States, a semblance of normality is starting to take place. However, outside of the USA and areas with high vaccination rates, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on.
Since April 2021, India has been plagued by a second surge of COVID-19 cases – with daily new cases sometimes reaching over 400,000. The situation on the ground is extremely dire, with over 350,000 deaths to date. As this surge takes place, BAPS Charities spared no effort in combating the pandemic and alleviating the suffering. To the critically ill, ventilators, oxygen and contemporary medical therapies are being provided. Humanitarian support is also being provided to those in need, including families of the patients, in the form of meals, subsidized medicine and other daily necessities.
BAPS Charities, through its global network and partner hospitals, has to-date supported the treatment of over 3,800 victims to full recovery from COVID-19. Anand Barot, a lead volunteer assisting with efforts on the ground in India observed, “The situation here is dire. Medical staff and volunteers at hospitals operated by BAPS are doing everything possible to provide the best treatment and care for those suffering from the virus. We understand that there is a long road ahead and we continue to explore other ways to help.” Partner hospitals in India have provided nearly 900 beds to the afflicted.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an extraordinarily high demand of medical-grade oxygen in India. The supply chain for medical oxygen is incredibly complex and meeting the necessary demand has proven quite challenging. Given that medical oxygen supplies are vital, COVID-19 or otherwise, BAPS Charities utilized its international network of volunteers to provide medical oxygen relief where possible.
Dr. Pranav Patel of Gujarat, India said, “Due to the lack of oxygen in the clinics, hospitals and homes, patients were suffering and dying from breathlessness. The situation was so bad that the relatives of patients had to stand in line to procure oxygen – often walking away with nothing. At that time, BAPS and its volunteers answered the call for help. The organization came to the hospital and helped us procure oxygen concentrators and we were able to save the lives of many patients and recover fully.”
To date, over 2,300 oxygen concentrators, 132 metric tons of liquid oxygen via cryogenic tanks, and over 7.85 million liters of gaseous oxygen have been distributed throughout India, saving thousands of lives. These essential oxygen supplies were transported from the USA, UK, UAE, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and elsewhere – truly a global effort.
For many patients, access to medical oxygen has been limited by their proximity to major metropolitan areas. For that reason, BAPS Charities and partner organizations have connected with doctors and medical professionals in many rural areas to provide them with oxygen and other necessary supplies. Relief was provided throughout India, including the states of Chandigarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Dr. Chimanbhai Parmar, who has for many years operated and owned a clinic in a small town of Dali in Gujarat, said, “Many COVID patients in villages lack oxygen to breathe properly and often do not receive the facilities they need. The welcome step by BAPS [in providing oxygen concentrators] has brought great relief to many patients until we can shift them to a larger hospital. Many patients are greatly benefiting. This is indeed welcome help.”
Throughout the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, BAPS Charities has mobilized volunteers throughout the world to deliver PPE, provide hot meals and care packages, conducted food drives for the needy and held COVID vaccination drives. Additionally, BAPS Charities USA has provided direct financial assistance to numerous hospitals, medical centers, and various community support organizations.
For More information Charities efforts in India go to www.bapscharities.org/usa/covid-19/
Or Contact Lenin Joshi BAPS Charities North American Headquarters Tel: 732-777-1414 Ext. 140