“According to my medical colleagues in India, COVID-19 patients in severe respiratory distress are laying on the floors or on gurneys in front of hospitals, coughing and crying while their relatives are begging doctors and nurses for help to save their loved ones,” says Los Angeles cardiologist and scientist Dr. Ernst von Schwarz. “Hospitals are running well over capacity as staff is overwhelmed and exhausted. They have nothing to offer the sick, neither oxygen nor hospital beds, breathing treatments or any medical relief. People are dying as a result of COVID-19 infections without any supportive therapy.
“According to news reports at least 30,000 people are dying each day, however the real numbers are likely much higher,” says Dr. Von Schwarz. “Doctors and medical staff are wearing the same gloves and contaminated masks all day and they lack appropriate PPE to protect themselves. They are beyond exhaustion and are frustrated. The lack of hospital beds, oxygen and respirators represents a death sentence for most seeking help.”
“According to some of my colleagues in Mumbai and New Delhi even medications used to reduce respiratory distress are running out. Doctors and nurses are exposing themselves to infected coughing and screaming patients without appropriate PPE,” says Dr. Von Schwarz. “Even though India is the world’s largest vaccine producer there is a critical shortage of COVID-19 vaccine; to date, less than 2% of the population has been fully vaccinated. Doctors in some areas also must endure the odors and smoke exposure from mass cremation sites.”
“The situation in India now represents the worst crisis any country has seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The US, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, several European and neighboring countries including Pakistan have committed to supply oxygen, ventilators, medical supplies and equipment to India. The US government is also sending Covid-19 tests, drug treatment, personal protective equipment, COVID relief funds and a stockpile of the Astra Zeneca vaccine which is not yet FDA-approved in the US.”
“The sudden rise in COVID-19 cases seems to be caused by a more easily transmissible mutant of the coronavirus. In contrast to the US, most health care providers have not been vaccinated themselves against COVID-19. India is now opening vaccination sites for all adults.”