Update from Karunalaya: 10th May, 2021

“Ambulances are queuing up for hours, with seriously ill Covid-19 patients waiting for beds to be admitted. While waiting they are supported with oxygen in the ambulance. Sometimes there is not enough oxygen available.” Paul Sunder Singh from Karunalaya in India writes about the current situation with Covid-19 in the country.

We received the following update via WhatsApp from Paul Sunder Singh yesterday (10th May, 2021) about Karunalaya’s current emergency response to coronavirus in Chennai. We will continue to share updates as we receive them.

Following a very generous donation from a grant-making trust last week, we have been able to send £16,000 of emergency relief to Karunalaya. If you are keen to further support their emergency response, please click here or follow the link at the bottom of the page.
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“We are continuing our frontline support at the Government General Hospital with food and water. 500 packets were distributed today. At this place we get to see the pathetic situations people are going through every day.

Ambulances are queuing up for hours, with seriously ill Covid-19 patients waiting for beds to be admitted. While waiting they are supported with oxygen in the ambulance. Sometimes there is not enough oxygen available. A waiting patient died in the ambulance after waiting for a few hours. One person who came with a patient said, “we were taken in the ambulance in the morning, first they took us to a screening centre then we were sent to this place.

Paul Sunder Singh from Karunalaya in India

Paul Sunder Singh from Karunalaya, Amos Trust’s partner in India
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Since morning we have been in the ambulance without food, desperately waiting to be called in. While waiting we saw many who succumbed to Covid-19 being stretchered out, some are well-packed in a black colour bag, some are wrapped in a blanket. Those who can pay for the bag are packed in it, others who cannot afford it are wrapped in a blanket.”

One person who came with a patient said, “we were taken in the ambulance in the morning, first they took us to a screening centre then we were sent to this place.”

In Hindu tradition, when a family member dies, rituals are performed before the funeral. For Covid-19 deaths, the body is not handed over to the family, but sent straight to the crematorium. Today a wife who lost her husband was undergoing a ritual at the hospital premises in a corner, so that the departed soul will rest in peace.

In the wards where Covid-19 patients are treated, one family member is permitted to help the patient and attend to their needs. These attending members suffer without food and water. They started looking for our food packets and are grateful to receive it. One said “I keep this pack of food for the night as we do not get anything for dinner.” One said “can I give this to the patient too as he has not eaten since afternoon.”

While distributing food packets, the ambulance drivers came to us and asked for food and water. They said that they have no time to eat and at night when we reach the hospital it is very late and they cannot find food and water. One driver insisted that we gave food and water to them too.

One said “I keep this pack of food for the night as we do not get anything for dinner.” One said “can I give this to the patient too as he has not eaten since afternoon.”

[Our team is] very sad, we meet every time we complete distribution and talk about our experiences and share our concerns. Then we decide what to do for the next day. My wife Bakiyam is in the lead, cooking the food and making sure everything is done well in time. Our team packed, took the food to the hospital and distributed. Our big boys also gave a helping hand happily.”

Paul Sunder Singh
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To support Karunalaya’s emergency efforts, please visit amostrust.org/karunalaya where you can make a donation.

Thank you.




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