COVID-19 patients receive oxygen outside a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Amit Sharma)

COVID-19 patients receive oxygen outside a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Amit Sharma)

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India is grappling with a catastrophe of epic proportions. More than 400,000 COVID-19 cases are being reported every day. People are dying on the streets due to lack of hospital beds, drugs, and oxygen. Oxygen that we take for granted in our lives here is a precious commodity in India now, and prices have soared by 350%-400% for oxygen concentrators and tanks. People are waiting in ambulances outside hospitals living off oxygen tanks, hoping that someone would get discharged and that a spot would open up for admission before their oxygen runs out. Remdesivir, methylprednisolone, and tocilizumab are in such short supply that many hospitals are forced to ask patients' relatives to buy them from outside pharmacies. Drugs, if available at all, are often priced to the highest bidder. Diverse health care infrastructure and just the sheer number of cases are taking a significant toll. Crematoriums are running 24/7, but there is still a waiting line.

A double mutant variant of the COVID-19 virus is being blamed and has rampaged through the entire country. The world must come together to stop this carnage, and the time is NOW! Money is desperately needed for oxygen, drugs, vaccination camps, and essential medical treatment.

Many humanitarian efforts are under way to help a country and its people in its hour of need. Please, even if it is just the cost of a dinner, do contribute as it could help someone live to eat another meal!

Prominent relief efforts that are under way include:

  1. OxygenForIndia.org (Volunteer-run campaign to deliver lifesaving medical oxygen)

  2. American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Oxygen Donation (They help arrange for and transport oxygen supplies to India)

  3. GiveIndia.org (Sponsors oxygen supplies, support for families of the COVID deceased, and families struggling with hunger)

  4. Sewa International USA (Sewa donates essential medical supplies to combat the crisis)

  5. EmergencyResponse (Run by the Johns Hopkins India Institute)

  6. BMC Covid Relief Fund (Run by Bangalore Medical College Alumni).

To learn more about the situation from a personal and professional perspective, listen to a brief interview on Spotify by Dr. Lalitha Sundararaman at asamonitor.pub/3xvqXQu.

Lalitha Sundararaman, MD, Clinical Instructor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Lalitha Sundararaman, MD, Clinical Instructor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

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