Multicultural News

India faces COVID spike, local agency works to send aid

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In India, there’s a surge of COVID cases like no other country has seen before.

And experts say they may only be scratching the surface of the devastation. The world is watching and so are people from India who now live in Indiana. They are working together to raise funds to send back home.

Medical experts say the true impact of this second wave of COVID could likely be even more devastating, as some cases and deaths may go unreported.

COVID-19’s devastation in India is nearly immeasurable. Conservative estimates put daily new cases at 300,000.

“The first wave didn’t hit them very badly so I think this gave a false perception. The COVID has mutated so badly it caught them in a surprise,” India Association of Indianapolis chairman Ajay Ponugoti said.

Ponugoti is also a physician who’s been caring for COVID-19 patients. And knows first hand the cost of catching the virus.

“A lot of us first generation know Indians a lot of our family are back in India. My mother is in India. I lost my father during the first COVID surge,” he said.

About one billion people live in India, often in close quarters, which makes it easy for the virus to spread.

Ponugoti said with thousands of people of Indian descent living in Indiana, chances are everyone knows someone back home impacted. So the India Association of Indianapolis is working to raise money to send to India’s most vulnerable and needy.

“The hospitals there are full. And most of the people who are vulnerable who don’t have access to care are very needy and very poor,” he said.

The American government is vowing to send aid. And Ponuguti said he knows the Indian government is doing its part. But there’s a broader humanitarian responsibility for countries all over to do what they can.

“The only way to beat this virus is to act together,” he said.