Bay Area officials are sending help to India, the second-most populous country in the world, as the country struggles in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Hospitals in India are struggling with a shortage of oxygen supply and ventilators to help patients in need. “It is heartbreaking. It’s not only the patients, even the doctors are crying. It’s mind-boggling. We need to help. I knew that these CPAPs are out there and people are not using it,” Dr. Kusum Atraya said.
Offering a Helping Hand
Medical professionals use CPAPs and BiPAPs to treat sleep apnea in patients. Atraya is gathering more of the devices and storing them at her Gilroy clinic before sending them to India this weekend. The equipment can be modified to help COVID-19 patients breathe easier.
“This morning, I got three calls from India. When are you sending these? We have beds. We have space. But we don’t have any ventilators. We don’t have any oxygen,” said Atraya.
A volunteer at the Sikh Gurdwara in San Jose, Simrit Singh Kamboe, assisted in the acquisition of the devices. “Those BiPAP and CPAP machines will be converted into ventilators in India,” he said., NBC Bay Area reported.
On Tuesday, the California OES posted on Twitter, saying it would deliver hundreds of oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and regulators to India. “Many of the hospitals don’t have oxygen. And many of the Gurdwaras, the Sikh religious places, have organized that. They have oxygen cylinders available,” said Gurdwara Vice President Gurinder Bal Singh.