Minnesotans pitch in to help coronavirus situation in India

The coronavirus situation in India is getting worse as hospitals turn away patients due to lack of beds and oxygen.

India reported 368,147 new coronavirus cases and 3,417 deaths on Monday — numbers that experts believe are vast undercounts because of a widespread lack of testing and incomplete reporting.

The crisis on the other side of the world is inspiring people here in Minnesota to take action.

Sharath Subramanian works as a cardiologist in St. Cloud, but lately he’s been thinking of the medical help needed in India, where he’s from.

"It was like the perfect storm," Dr. Subramanian said. "We started locally, but now the thing has engulfed the entire country – the bigger countries for sure ."

"You feel devastated, exhausted, guilt – I feel guilt," he said. "I talk to my friends multiple times a week. We chat about how things are and I see that everybody is very stressed out. They’re scared."

Data from the World Health Organization shows how COVID-19 deaths have gone up substantially in the last few weeks.

Kiran Bandi is the president of the Indian Association of Minnesota. He and partnering organizations from around the country have been able to raise money and even send supplies to those in need.

"All of our partners have ways where they’re connecting with actual people on the ground," he said.

The U.S. government is also sending testing kits and drug treatments as officials in India continue the task of getting more than 1 billion people the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I’m really proud to be an American and to be able to help my homeland," Bandi said. 

While Dr. Subramanian expects the worst is probably still ahead for India, he feels that aid efforts from around the world show how we can come together in a crisis.

For more information on organizations helping people in India, click here.