Many Indian-American families have someone suffering from Covid-19 in India and many Indian Americans are worried sick over the way the Indian government is handling the second wave of the pandemic.
For the last five days India has every day broken the record for most number of Covid-19 related deaths it has reported in 24 hours. Social media in India is filled with SOS calls for oxygen, for hospital beds, for medicines such as Remdesivir. Many cities have added crematoriums, and pyres have been burning nonstop.
“India needs to shut down again for at least four weeks,” Dr Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), told indica News.
“I don’t think India followed the guidelines and that is why they are suffering,” Jonnalagadda said. “Unfortunately, it’s out of control. India did not prepare for the second wave the way India prepared for the first wave.
“But we should not blame the government; we should blame ourselves,” he added. “We did not follow the discipline and did not wear masks or maintain social distancing.”
He said that he had been trying to reach the Indian government in vain. He said he would try to call the Indian Embassy to talk to Dr Harsh Vardhan, India’s minister of health & family welfare.
AAPI, Dr Jonnalagadda said, had arranged to send concentrated oxygen to India.
Thanking the AAPI members for donating to buy the oxygen, Jpnnalagadda said that AAPI had ordered 200 units of concentrated oxygen and would be ordering more.
“To control the pandemic India needs lockdown with vaccination and with vaccination at least they won’t die,” he reiterated.
He sounded pleased that the US government had okayed supplying to India raw materials needed to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines.
Dr Prasun Mishra, founding president and CEO of the American Association for Precision Medicine (AAPM), and chair of AAPM coronavirus task force, agreed with Dr Jonnalagadda on India needing to shut down.
“They have no other choice and it’s the only option left,” Mishra said.
“This is how the pandemic behaves, and on top of that the new variants are more infectious than the original strain. Then there are super spreader events in India — including festival, election rallies, weddings… and overall people took it lightly. Even public transportation are crowded in India,” he said.
“It’s devastating and we have been warning from the beginning, and this will happen in many other places… India is just one example,” he said. “I think it’s sad the country is overwhelmed now and cannot handle it.”