Coronavirus News: Nassau County, South Asian-American community sending aid to India

COVID-19 News and Information
LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Nassau County officials joined together with the South Asian-American community, civic, and religious leaders to announce a major aid campaign to help India in this third wave of the pandemic.

India on Monday reported more than 366,000 new infections and 3,754 new deaths. Those numbers are far below the United States, but without the medical infrastructure like the U.S. the country is dealing with overcrowded hospitals and a desperate lack of medical supplies, PPE and ventilators.

Those with the World Health Organization on Monday named the variant discovered in India as the fourth COVID variant, but say the vaccines are effective in protecting people from it.
Vaccine supply, however, is also an issue in the country.

"We may be far away from our country, but together we just want to say that we do care and we will do our best to help out India," said Shashi Malik with India Association of Long Island.

"India is facing existential crisis," said Dr. Raj Bhayani of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. "Yesterday was Mother's Day. It is the duty of every son and daughter of India and every American daughter and son, let us help Mother India."

Friends for Good Health International and Merchant Industry of India announced the aid campaign will send funding for ventilators, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and vaccinations.

Local businesses are having difficulty getting in touch with family members and employees due to shutdowns in India.

At least two local people on Long Island are chartering flights to bring these supplies to India this weekend.

"India is facing an existential crisis," said Dr. Raj Bhayani, AAPI. "Yesterday was Mother's Day. It is the duty of every son and daughter of India and every American daughter and son, let us help mother India."

Hicksville is home to the fastest-growing Indian-American and South Asian community in the State of New York.

Local leaders are recommending if people want to donate supplies or PPE, they bring them to their local Indian-American or South-Asian prayer center or community group.

They include: National Association of Indians in America, AIPAC, FIPA, Global Federation of Indian Physicians Association, Gujrati Samaj, Sikh Cultural Society of America, International Punjabi Welfare Council New York, RANA, Arya Samaj of Long Island, Hindu Community Center Queens, Rajasthan Medical Association of Indians in America, Indian American Forum, Friends for Good Health, India Association of Long Island, Nargis Dutt Foundation, IDPUSA, LILC, Rotary Hicksville South, Rotary Jericho Sunrise, Asamai Temple, Arya Samaj of Long Island, AAPIQLI, Gurudwara Glencove, Hicksville, Plainview Gurudwara, Sai Mandir Hicksville and Gurudwara Shaheeda Levittown.

If people would like to make financial donations, it's recommended to donate through United Way India.

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