India Covid crisis: Pakistan-American physicians express solidarity, offer help
TOPSHOT – Patients breath with the help of oxygen masks inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a Covid-19 coronavirus ward in New Delhi on April 27, 2021. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP) (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)
By Pooja Shrivastava
As India continues to battle the deadly second wave of Covid-19, Pakistan-origin physicians based in the US have expressed solidarity with the people of India. The Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England (APPNE) has offered its services through telemedical help in this unusual time.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of India as they face the needless tragedies catalyzed by the coronavirus pandemic,” says a statement by the APPNE, which represents over 350 medical practitioners.
“Many of us are helping them (the people of India) through various means, while physicians among us regularly extend pro bono telemedical help to colleagues and patients in India,” says the statement.
The statement has been endorsed by over 125 physicians, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, academics, businesspersons and others of Pakistani and South Asian origin, and allies and friends of SouthAsia from across Pakistan, the US, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, and Greece.
The signatories in the statement also offered their “deepest condolences” to all those who have lost family members or friends to Covid-19.
The statement also cautioned about the potential crisis brewing in other South Asian nations. Drawing similarities between the health care of South Asian nations like Pakistan and India where “the poor are left to fend for themselves, and even those with the means are stretched for resources when a calamity of such proportions overpowers,” the APPNE urged other Asian countries to learn from the colossal tragedy in India to introspect and take urgent action now to prevent similar crises.
The signatories mentioned that it is “beyond time” for India and Pakistan to work actively and spend more resources on health and education.
“We urge all governments, particularly India and Pakistan, to use this time of crisis as an opportunity to urgently work on repairing and investing not only in their healthcare systems but also their relations with each other,” they added.