Family, friends in Canada aghast as COVID death toll climbs in India

Nish Prasad said many people in the Indian community in Saskatchewan are watching the news, feeling helpless about the climbing COVID-19 numbers in India. He said it's a 'nightmare.' 

'India is bleeding' says Sask. community leader

Medical staff work long hours with dwindling resources as COVID infections explode in India. People watching the news in Saskatchewan say they feel helpless. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Nish Prasad said watching the COVID-19 situation in India is like a "nightmare." 

"India is bleeding. The situation is critical."

Prasad lives in Regina, but his parents are in India. He is on the advisory council of the India Canada Association of Saskatchewan, and said basically all members of the group have friends and family in India and are feeling helpless about the climbing COVID-19 numbers there.

In a weekly report, the World Health Organization (WHO) said India accounted for 46 per cent of global cases and 25 per cent of global deaths reported in the past week.

Hospitals are scrambling for beds and oxygen as they desperately battle a second deadly surge of infections, while morgues and crematoriums struggle to deal with a seemingly unstoppable flow of bodies.

Many people have died in ambulances and car parks waiting for a bed or oxygen.

Dharmesh Gandhi is president of the India Canada Association of Saskatchewan. He said his parents, who live in Canada, fear picking up the phone to hear that another extended family member has died of COVID. 

"I would call it grief. That's what people are feeling," said Gandhi.

We all live in a global world. Nobody is safe until everybody is safe.- Nish Prasad, India Canada Association of Saskatchewan

Nish Prasad said India does not have the health system to fight the virus, and the country is very populated. He said people are doing whatever they can to help, but basics like oxygen tanks are in short supply.

"People are gasping for oxygen."

He said entire families are infected with the virus.

Saskatchewan government sending ventilators

The Saskatchewan government is sending 100 ventilators to India. Prasad said he is thankful.

"Even if it can save 100 lives, you are saving so many family members. Even if a single life can be saved, that means a lot."

Prasad said he is encouraged whenever he sees other countries sending help.

"We all live in a global world. Nobody is safe until everybody is safe."