ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As COVID-19 infection numbers are on the decline in the U.S., India has become the global epicenter for the virus. There’s now a local effort underway to help the country in crisis.
“Unfortunately, people are dying like fish out of the water,” said Chair of the Hindu Temple Society Tarun Narravula. For him, the devastating second wave of the coronavirus spreading throughout India is déjà vu. Unlike the earlier epicenter in New York, he said India is much worse. “It’s across the country, even the villages. Everywhere.”
Bodies are piling up outside hospitals as the country faces an oxygen shortage. As chairman of the organization, Narravula’s helping to lead an effort to deliver oxygen concentrators for the country in crisis. “There’s not a single person whose relative is not affected by COVID in India, and most of them lost their loved ones. I lost two members within seven weeks,” he said.
India is now second only to the U.S. in COVID-19 cases. Because of the burden on the health care system, the true death toll and infection rates could be much higher. India has topped 20 million COVID cases and has more than 300,000 cases daily.
“Government was not prepared for this situation because they were not expecting this,” said a friend of Narravula’s who is in India coordinating efforts. The organization has enlisted friends and family who live in India to help coordinate the center’s efforts.
The country has continually seen the highest single-day infections in the world. “The government is trying their best to separate the problem, but it is beyond their control,” said another friend of Narravula in India helping to coordinate aid.
In the U.S., families of the Hindu congregation are grounded until a ban on travel to India expires.
“Unless everyone is cured, there is no escape for us,” Narravula said. “We need to step up irrespective of where the problem is. We need to step up and help each other.”
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