Priyanka Chopra Jonas Shares A Global Plea To Help Tackle India's Covid Crisis

Ata Owaji Victor
·5-min read
Photo credit: FADEL SENNA - Getty Images
Photo credit: FADEL SENNA - Getty Images

As India's reported Coronavirus deaths exceed 200,000 amid a devastating second wave, celebrities, activists and charitable organisations have begun to ask for global assistance in tackling the virus.

According to BBC reports of the growing crisis, 'oxygen supplies remain critically low across the country', resulting in a black market trade becoming one of the only options for people in need. With a reported '300,000 new infections every day in the past week, and more than 360,000 new cases in the past 24 hours on Wednesday April 28', the situation is getting increasingly desperate and out of control.

Overall, more than 17.9 million cases have currently been registered across India.

What Is Happening

Photo credit: ARUN SANKAR - Getty Images
Photo credit: ARUN SANKAR - Getty Images

The harrowing scenes from India have shocked the world, as the country struggles with soaring cases of Covid-19, however this recent outbreak marks yet another concerning moment since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in January 2020, because of the speed in which the virus travels and mutates.

'The virus doesn't respect borders, or nationalities, or age, or sex or religion. And what's playing out in India now unfortunately has been played out in other countries,' Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organisation's chief scientist told the BBC.

Since the second wave began, India's capital, Delhi, has introduced extended lockdowns in order to relieve pressure on hospitals. The Indian government has also approved plans for more than 500 oxygen generation plants across the country to boost supplies.

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Neighbouring Bangladesh has also moved to close its border with India from April 26, in order to prevent further spreading of the virus.

The UK has begun sending ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices and EU members are also due to send aid. The US is lifting a ban on sending raw materials abroad, enabling India to make more of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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Foreign aid has also started to pour in from the UK and Singapore. Russia, New Zealand, Pakistan and China and France have all now also pledged to send emergency medical equipment.

On Thursday (April 29), the US announced that it would start delivering supplies worth more than $100m/£71,685,000, in addition to supplies from individual US states and private companies.

How To Help

In response to the crisis, actor and Indian native Priyanka Chopra Jonas has set up a Covid-19 relief fundraiser as the country continues its battle with this overwhelming second wave.

The 38-year-old star's fundraiser works in collaboration with the donation platform GiveIndia.

In a video on Instagram on April 28, the actor said: 'I’m sitting in London and hearing from my friends and family in India about how hospitals are at capacity and there are no rooms and ICUs. Ambulances are too busy, and the oxygen supply is less. Crematoriums have been having mass cremations because the volume of deaths is so much.'

'India is my home, and India is bleeding. We as a global community need to care.'

Chopra Jonas used the time to urge her community and others to come forward and do their best to stop the pandemic.

'Whatever you can spare, truly makes a difference. Nearly 63 million people follow me on here, if even 100,000 of you donate $10, that’s $1 Million, and that’s huge. Your donation will go directly to healthcare physical infrastructure (including Covid care centres, Isolation centres, and oxygen generation plants), medical equipment, and vaccine support and mobilisation,' she wrote.

The Baywatch star also disclosed that she and husband Nick Jonas have already contributed to the cause, and will keep on doing so.

'We have all seen how far and wide this virus can spread, an ocean between us makes no difference,' she wrote.

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Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has also joined in calls for support and help for the nation.

On April 24, the 18-year-old tweeted, 'Heartbreaking to follow the recent developments in India. The global community must step up and immediately offer the assistance needed.'

Thunberg shared the tweet alongside a news report about the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The report stated that India had registered 332,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day.

Where To Donate

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There are currently a few major ways in which you can donate to various efforts to stem the outbreak in India.

  • British Asian Trust

  • Khalsa Aid UK

  • ActionAid is distributing food packages and supplies. They are also translating vital public health advice into local languages and ensuring it reaches the most marginalised communities.

  • Mission Oxygen - Helping Hospitals Save Lives. A group in New Delhi is crowdfunding to urgently procure thousands of oxygen concentrators for hospitals across the country.

  • Feeding From Far is another fundraiser on Ketto (India's crowdfunding website) and they are distributing ration kits and food to the disadvantaged in Mumbai.

  • The Uday Foundation has been feeding underprivileged patients and their families while they wait for their treatment outside hospitals in Delhi.

  • The Hemkunt Foundation is supplying oxygen to Covid patients in Delhi for free, with a 'drive thru' site.

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