- Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp have been flooded with desperate calls for COVID-19 help from people in India.
- Doctors, politicians, and patients are seeking oxygen, ICU beds, and blood plasma.
- India’s COVID-19 daily cases hit a world record on Sunday, with 350,000 new cases.
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In India, social-media platforms are flooded with requests for oxygen, intensive care unit (ICU) beds, and blood plasma amid the deepening COVID-19 crisis.
India recorded more than 350,000 daily COVID-19 cases on Sunday, breaking the world record for the fifth consecutive day.
Doctors, politicians, and COVID-19 patients and their loved ones are using hashtags #CovidSOS and #COVIDEmergency2021 in Twitter posts to plead for supplies, The Verge first reported. Groups on WhatsApp and Facebook such as HumanKind Global are full of people searching for blood plasma and oxygen to help COVID-19 patients, The Verge reported.
-Soundaram (@Soundaram_) April 26, 2021
-Poonam Kaul (@KaulPoonam) April 25, 2021
Hospitals in the country are struggling to cope with shortages of beds and oxygen supplies – some say they only have a few hours’ of oxygen supply left. Crematoriums are also starting to melt from operating for so long.
Prashant Kanojia, member of the Rashtriya Lok Dal party in India and a former journalist, on Sunday tweeted with the hashtag #CovidSOS that a hospital in Meerut, north India, needed urgent oxygen supplies.
In response to a thread by journalist Swati Chaturvedi to amplify people’s requests for help, one Twitter user said her relative was a critical cancer patient who couldn’t be transferred to ICU because there were no beds available.
Another Twitter user replied to the thread, saying that their friend’s father was “extremely critical” and needed a ventilator urgently in the National Capital Region of India.
Vinay Srivastava, an Indian journalist who had COVID-19, tweeted on April 16 that his oxygen levels had dropped and that he needed medical help. He was denied healthcare because he didn’t have the right paperwork, local media reported. He died the day after his Twitter plea.
Hemant Rajaura, a health reporter for Hindustan Newspaper, tweeted on Sunday that the oxygen supply in Irene Hospital in New Delhi had dropped, endangering patients.
The day before, he tweeted that Delhi needed 700 tons of oxygen to cope with demand, but that only 330 tons was reaching the city.
-Hemant Rajaura (@hemantrajora_) April 25, 2021
The US on Sunday said it would provide supplies for testing, drugs, personal protective equipment, ventilators, and vaccines to help India fight its current coronavirus wave. Less than 2% of India’s population is fully vaccinated.