Fueled by the new double and suspected triple variants, case numbers and deaths of those infected by COVID19 in India continue to rise astronomically. In total, India has confirmed more than 17 million infections and 200,000 deaths. Virologists say they expect the rate of infections to continue to increase for another two to three weeks.
This morning we sat in a meeting with our Baptist Pastors from conventions across India to obtain an update of the situation of the Covid Wave 2 that has totally devastated many states and also affected many Christians including Baptist pastors that have succumbed. It is said that almost every household in India has someone affected and in some states 1 in 2 are positive.
But the true numbers of cases and deaths are likely to be higher than those provided by authorities, with many people avoiding testing or struggling to access it. It is reported that many deaths in rural areas also go unregistered.
Doctors in India's capital Delhi, have described how people are dying on the streets outside hospitals as the country struggles to cope.
The country has a chronic shortage of space on its intensive care wards, with many patients' families forced to drive for miles to try to find a bed for their loved one. Some streets outside medical facilities have become crowded with the seriously ill, their loved ones trying to arrange stretchers and oxygen supplies for them as they plead with hospital authorities for a place inside. Some are compelled to wait as much as 48 hours for an oxygen cylinder while in some instances these are being sold in the black market at INR25,000 per cylinder (approximately $435.00 AUD).
In a bid to tackle the shortage of beds, Indian authorities are turning to train carriages, which have been converted into isolation wards. About 4,000 Indian Railways coaches, adapted in March 2020, are being brought back into use to help treat Covid patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Sports halls, stadiums and ashrams have also been converted into make-shift treatment centres to ease the pressure on hospitals.
It is said that people are dying on the streets gasping for air like fish out of water!
Many people are being forced to turn to makeshift facilities for mass burials and cremations as India's funeral services become overwhelmed. At least one facility in Delhi has resorted to building pyres in its car park in order to cope with the number of bodies. And it’s reported that there is a shortage of wood for pyres.
As most areas are in lockdown and the situation worsening we at APBAid are looking at how we can support our Baptist partners on the ground.
Please join in prayer with us as we cry out to the Lord to see the suffering of His people and let His healing flow through the nation!
Lord, we pray for all the medical doctors, nurses and the supporting staff who are in the frontline of the fight for His strength to sustain at this time as they continue to provide the lifesaving services.
We pray for all those who have lost loved ones – Lord, please comfort them… Be their strength and their portion.
We also pray for all those in authority – Lord give them wisdom, help them to make the right decisions and guide them, let not greed overtake them at this dire moment.
We pray for all our fellow brothers and sisters who are part of the Body of Christ that they may not grow weary or faint hearted but continue to trust in His grace as well as act with responsibility and caution in the face of this grave situation.
May they also be enabled and strengthened to be channels of His hope, comfort and grace to those bereaved and anxious at this time.
Help us not to loose faith in the face of this destruction, to continue to keep our trust and faith in you Lord. To know that even when we don’t understand you are at work. Amen
If you wish to support our brothers and sisters, you can partner with APBF by contributing towards work we are doing in the region. (If you are in India you can donate via CBCNEI)
Globally, the pandemic shows no sign of easing, with the virus devastating country after country. The situation in India is a bleak reminder that none of us will be safe until everyone is safe.
Director of APBAid
(Sources – Information : Partners on the ground / https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-56882167 / Images - Reuters - https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/india-running-out-of-oxygen-as-covid-cas-idUSRTXBP9QU)