COVID-19 case counts continue to surge in India as the country battles a devastating second wave. As of May 3, the Indian government has reported almost 20 million people are sick and close to 219,000 people have died, although actual figures are thought to be much higher.
“Last year we estimated that only one in about 30 infections were being caught by testing, so the reported cases are a serious underestimate of true infections,” Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in New Delhi told CNN last week. “This time, the mortality figures are probably serious underestimates, and what we’re seeing on the ground is many more deaths, than what has been officially reported.” The death toll could peak at more than 12,000 a day by mid-May — more than three times the current rate according to prediction models from the University of Washington.
The Canadian government has pledged $10 million in aid and will share vaccines “when it’s in a position to do so,” reports the CBC, while the U.S. has pledged “full support” and has lifted a ban on “sending raw materials for vaccine production abroad, enabling India to manufacture more AstraZeneca doses,” according to BBC. Still, experts argue this isn’t enough and that in addition to prioritizing their own citizens, Canada and other wealthy countries have a responsibility to aid other countries during a public health crisis. "The donation mechanism is basically relying on benevolence and charity rather than these international human rights obligations that countries do have," Katrina Perehudoff, a researcher and fellow at the WHO Collaborating Centre on the Pharmaceutical Sector at the University of Toronto told CBC on May 2.
So, what can individual Canadians do to help? Here are a few ways you can contribute by donating to provide PPE, oxygen, medicine, and community support to India through international and regional efforts.
The Canadian Red Cross is extending help to the Indian Red Cross to deliver assistance and support to communities affected or at risk of affection. Money raised will be used for COVID-19 preparedness, community response, and recovery activities. Click here to donate.
So far, the United Nations has deployed experts to the worst-hit areas and sent 3,000 oxygen concentrators and other critical supplies. Your donation will help increase access to oxygen, provide rapid testing, and support essential workers and communities by preventing further disruption to outreach program and services for families and children. Click here to donate.
MSF teams are working with the Indian government to treat patients within a large 2,000 bed field hospital in Mumbai. They have recruited additional doctors and nurses to help provide medical and technical support with oxygen supplies and therapy. Your donation will help raise money towards providing masks and sanitizers to healthcare workers. Click here to donate.
This non-governmental organization (NGO), is raising funds for the Ahmednagar District, one of the worst-hit communities, with no beds, oxygen, or medicine available to the largely rural population. Snehalaya was founded in 1989 to provide support for women, children, and LGBTQ+ people who have been affected by HIV and AIDS, trafficking, sexual violence and poverty and have been operating their own medical facilities and offering vital support to as many as 150,000 people who have tested positive with COVID-19. This fundraising campaign is powered by GlobalGiving, a nonprofit that supports other nonprofits by connecting them with donors and companies.
This global humanitarian agency will provide PPE kits to frontline workers, oxygen, medicine, and set up temporary COVID hospitals through its CARE India not-for-profit organization.
This general fund by GoFundMe will support trusted organizations focused on COVID-19 relief work. As they grant to new organizations, donors will be notified with updates via the fund webpage.
Mutual Aid Fundraisers
Donations made to organizations listed above the guide are tax-deductible.