India’s Covid Crisis: How to Help Victims and Frontline Workers

India’s coronavirus crisis is the worst since the pandemic began, and it will probably worsen before it gets better.

Hospitals are full, oxygen supplies are dwindling, and sick people are dying as they wait to see doctors. As workers leave locked-down cities for their home villages, experts fear that the exodus could accelerate the spread of the virus in rural areas, as a similar one did last year.

Official estimates of the nationwide infection toll — well above 300,000 a day — are probably undercounted, epidemiologists say. The reported figure will mostly likely rise to 500,000 cases a day by August, they say, leaving as many as one million of India’s 1.4 billion people dead from Covid-19.

Charities, volunteers and businesses in India and beyond are trying to help the country’s Covid victims and frontline workers.

(Before giving money to an organization, make sure you feel comfortable with it. In the United States, sites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator grade nonprofits on their effectiveness and financial health.)

Here are a few ways to help.

  • United Nations agencies, including UNICEF and the World Health Organization, are delivering personal protective equipment kits, oxygen concentrators, diagnostic testing systems and other supplies to India’s frontline health care workers.

  • The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, which represents more than 80,000 doctors in the United States, is sending oxygen machines to India. Each one costs $500. Go here to donate in intervals of $500 or here to donate less than $500.

  • The Canadian Red Cross is providing financial support for its counterpart organization in India to respond to the latest Covid wave and to prepare for future “pandemic and/or emergency events.”

  • Care India says it has supplied hospitals and frontline workers in India with more than 39,000 P.P.E. kits, along with masks and other supplies. The nonprofit, which has worked in India for 70 years, accepts donations in any amount. A donation of $134 pays for four P.P.E. kits; $671 buys 20 kits.

  • The Association for India’s Development, a Maryland-based charity that partners with nonprofits in India, says it has volunteers distributing food and protective equipment in most of India’s 29 states.

  • GIVE.asia, a fund-raising platform in Singapore for causes across the Asia Pacific region, is hosting a campaign to help finance about $75,000 worth of oxygen tanks for Covid patients in India.

  • Ketto, a fund-raising platform in Mumbai, a hot spot of the country’s latest Covid outbreak, is shepherding a campaign by hundreds of entrepreneurs to purchase 3,000 oxygen concentrators. (The organizers are tweeting live updates.)

  • FromU2Them, a Mumbai nonprofit, is raising money on Ketto from individuals and Indian businesses to pay for food and medical supplies in the sprawling financial hub.

  • Youth Feed India and Helping Hands Charitable Trust are delivering ration kits to vulnerable residents of Mumbai. They say each kit costs about 7 cents, includes staples like rice and dal, and feeds a family of four for 15 days. Donate here in a variety of ways, including through Google Pay.

Shashank Bengali contributed reporting.

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