May 6, 2021 / Source: The Bizz USA
By Aaryana Sharma; Edited by Haarika Kalahasti
As many of you are realizing through social media and the news, India is undergoing its second spike of the COVID 19 virus, and it is not pretty. If you don’t know much about it, please follow along, as we will discuss what is going on in general, the distribution system in India, resources you can share, and ways you and your family can help internationally.
Right now, India, the second most populous country in the world, is dealing with the largest COVID-19 outbreak to date. During this outbreak, they have been left without proper resources and medical supplies, such as oxygen tanks and ventilators. Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease–or a disease that spreads through the air– , it is crucial that medical facilities treating COVID-19 patients have ample access to these supplies.
However, access to these supplies comes at a cost for many COVID-19 patients in India. Due to a system called “vaccine/medical apartheid”, those who are unable to afford proper medical facilities and vaccinations are unable to receive the care they need. This concept of a vaccine apartheid concept originated during the systemic challenge in the olden days in which wealthier countries hoarded medicine and vaccinations, while poorer countries are denied these resources. According to the World Health Organization, around 82% of high and middle-income countries have been given the vaccine, while only 0.3% of low-income countries have been administered these resources. Additionally, in India, the “caste system” and other social systems limit those of lower socioeconomic status, who are denied medical privileges.
So, what has caused the spread of COVID-19 in India?
One major reason as to why the virus overtook the country is due to large religious gatherings and political rallies that occured, which attracted large groups of people to congregate in small spaces.
When the US had their first surges of the virus, India and many Asian countries played a crucial role in providing resources to the US, and now we should hope that the US reciprocates the responsibility. In coming months, the US plans to make raw materials available so that India can continue to manufacture Covishield vaccines and fund India’s vaccine manufacturers. The US also plans to supply therapeutics, test kits, ventilators and PPE to medical facilities in India, and send a team of CDC public health advisors to India to regulate the spread of COVID-19.
Since you know how the COVID-19 has spread, and the inequity in the distribution of resources within India, it’s important to know how you can help India. Some verified and popular organizations you may have come across include the Hemkunt Foundation, Khalsa Aid, and the Desai Foundation, all of which donate funds and resources directly to hospitals and medical facilities in India. Other ways to help out include selling handmade goods to raise money to medical facilities in India, or creating a virtual fundraiser through platforms, such as Go Fund Me or Linktree, to raise money to donate. More resources to help those in India can be found here.
If you have family members in India, please make sure to stay in contact with them to ensure they are staying safe. When you contact your family, remind them to follow CDC’s COVID-19, including social distance and wearing a mask when outside the house. Additionally, make sure not to share fake information through online platforms and try to raise awareness based on accurate news sources.
Given the situation in India it is important to give back to trusted organizations, stay up to date on the current events in India and how your countries’ helping, contact family members often to make sure they are following guidelines and maintain social distancing. For more resources, helplines, and organizations to donate to click here.