After initially appearing to have curbed the spread of the coronavirus, India, the world’s second most populous nation, has struggled to cope with what is now considered the fastest-expanding outbreak. Just days ago, India recorded the highest daily spike in COVID-19 cases globally with nearly 86,000 new cases reported. Across the country, critically ill virus patients are now being turned away from both public and private hospitals for lack of beds, staff, and equipment.
The nationwide shut down imposed by the government in early 2020 resulted in India reporting one of the steepest falls in economic growth in the world. Schools and colleges have remained closed and will continue to do so until the end of September. At this time, up to 50% of the teaching staff will be permitted to return to campus to teach online courses, and students from Year 9 to 12 will be provided the option to return to the classroom on a voluntary basis.
In Tamil Nadu, home of the Christian Medical College & Hospital of Vellore (CMCH), there have been over 434,000 reported cases of the coronavirus to date, matched with a death toll of 7,418. Presently, there are 54,379 active cases in Tamil Nadu, 7,500 of which have been identified in and around the city of Vellore.
To help combat the spread of this deadly disease, CMCH was called upon by the Ministry of Health of India (far in advance of the first case reported in Tamil Nadu) to support the country’s efforts to (1) test and trace, (2) isolate and (3) provide comprehensive medical care for the population of COVID positive patients in the region. With the financial support of alumni and friends from within India and around the world, CMCH has mobilized the resources needed to treat the very mildest and most extreme cases of the virus, with the capacity to now provide Level I, Level II and Level III treatment to more than 1,000 patients daily.
For several weeks now, CMCH has been at full capacity, while managing the care of patients on waiting lists for to receive more comprehensive treatment until such time as ICU and other advanced care beds become available.
To date, the Foundation has raised (and transferred to CMCH) more than $170,000 to support the acquisition of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment for the makeshift surge unit set up at the main hospital in Vellore. There is still a tremendous need for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and equipment for the ICU, as such, the Foundation is continuing to support CMCH through every means possible. If you are interested in providing financial support at this unprecedented time of need, please do so by clicking here.