Local hospital sending supplies to India as it becomes epicenter of COVID crisis

Long Island

NEW YORK — India is in crisis.

The nation is seeing daily new coronavirus case totals that is shattering global records. In one 24-hour period, India registered more than 414,000 new COVID cases, far worse than the United States has ever seen in a one-day period.

People around the country are helping out, including a local healthcare network. 

Northwell Health in New Hyde Park is sending N95 masks, other personal protective equipment, ventilators and oxygen concentrators.

“We’ve been working with our partners and vendors [in the United States] to get supplies donated, to get shipping and cargo and air freight donated, to get the supplies as quickly as possible,” said Eric Cioe-Peña, MD, who serves as the director for the Center for Global Health.

They’re being sent to Ecaudor, Guyana and India. India is perhaps the nation in the most dire situation right now, with over 21.4 million total cases. It is now the global epicenter of the virus.

“There is a variant that is spreading very rapidly through the population at the exact time India has relaxed its lockdowns,” said Cioe-Pena.

India’s prime minster is facing growing pressure to impose a strict nationwide lockdown, despite the economic pain it will likely cause. The startling surge in COVID cases has overwhelmed India’s healthcare system.

There are signs outside hospitals showing unavailability of beds, other facilities are quickly putting together makeshift COVID wards. Others are so filled, patients can be seen outside the hospitals, on oxygen tanks. Shocking images show crematoriums and burial grounds struggling to handle the increasing number of dead.

Even Vice President Kamala Harris’ 80-year-old uncle who lives in New Delhi, is grappling with concerning conditions

“These days I find a lot of people that I know, that I work with, some have got COVID, some have died, so it is far more affecting me in that manner, but generally the conditions are pretty bad in India,” said G. Balachandran.

India’s population is 1.4 billion. They’ve been struggling with their vaccine rollout program. The staggering number of new cases being blamed on a highly contagious variant and Indian officials have been criticized for allowing mass crowds to gather

The world is helping and for one Northwell Health cardiac surgeon it hits close to home.

“I have my family, my mother she lives in India, my wife’s parents live in India my  brothers do, the situation there is dire,” said Dr. Mohammed Imam.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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