AAPI raises $5mn of COVID relief for India


For more than a year and counting, the coronavirus has been undeterredly gaining strength and disrupting lives in every way possible. While many countries have found some sense of stability in managing this deadly pandemic, they are just in the verge of collapse if another wave hits.

Currently, the peak of the pandemic has come down for the world to gather support and resources to prepare for the next wave, which many experts say is inevitable.

India, especially, has just been grappling back to normalcy from the savage second wave, and already the threat of the third wave has begun.

In order to ensure constant support, a group of Indian American doctors has raised USD 5 million for COVID-19 relief in India, according to a prominent association of physicians of Indian origin.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical organization in the USA representing the interest of more than 100,000 physicians in the USA, has stepped up to the plate to deal with the crisis of India.

The fund raised by the influential Indian American doctors was used to provide 2,300 oxygen concentrators, 100 ventilators and 100 high-flow nasal cannula machines to 45 hospitals in India, the American Association of Physicians of Indian-Origin (AAPI), which represents thousands of Indian-origin doctors in the US, said on Tuesday.

“The generosity of the members of AAPI and Indian community has been unprecedented,” AAPI President Dr Anupama Gotimukula said.

Amid reports that the third wave is likely to hit India by the end of August, AAPI said it was working with several agencies and the Indian government to help with care and supplies to the remotest places in India.

“Thanks to the overwhelming support of its members that AAPI has raised almost $5 million in the past few months,” said Dr. Kusum Punjabi, Chair of AAPI BOT, who has dedicated her services at the Emergency Department, serving thousands of Covid patients in the New Jersey.

“During my entire year of presidency, impacted by the deadly pandemic, AAPI has initiated several efforts to help our Mother India,” recalls Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, Immediate past-president of AAPI. “Aptly so, the annual Convention last month in Atlanta was a tribute to frontline healthcare professionals who have devoted their lives and work serving humanity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

As AAPI cannot direct its resources to specific areas and relies on the government of India to distribute its supplies, Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, past Secretary of AAPI and several other AAPI leaders have been working outside of the umbrella of AAPI for direct transfer of the essential material, focusing mainly on the peripheral hospitals who do not get aid readily.

“AAPI will continue to use the remaining funds in preparation for the impending Covid third wave,” said Dr Anjana Samadder, AAPI vice-president.