The streets of Delhi are known for their noise, crowds and bustle, but Meenal Vis, a doctor from the United Kingdom, says that when her family listens through their windows there is a “silence as a pin.”
“It’s almost like living in a horror movie. People are not sure what will come next, ”he said. “The kind of sentiment described is a country at war.”
Vis is among several medical professionals in the UK who are deeply concerned for her family members in India amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
Concerned British doctors of Indian descent have set up a crowdfunding page for support, including vital equipment. In interviews, they said they were concerned about conditions in India and advocated for a strong global response.
Vis said: “The situation in India shows that we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and those around us. We see what happens if the world is half vaccinated ”.
Vis is part of a UN-backed initiative called Team Halo, in which doctors and scientists volunteer their time to make TikTok videos that address the question of vaccines. “When I talk to my cousins about vaccination, they say it is not available,” he said, adding that the pandemic had highlighted health inequality as a global problem.
“We are all connected to some parts of the world in some way and we need to protect everyone,” he said.
Another British-based doctor concerned for his Indian relatives is Ajay Verma, 42, a consultant gastroenterologist and physician who works at Kettering General Hospital. “About 40% of the UK workforce medically is Asian, so many doctors here are from that part of the world. I was born in the UK, but my parents are from India, so my mother’s entire family is in India, ”he said.
Verma said her family in India was “very scared” by seeing reports of what was happening in other parts of the country. He said there was a feeling of “not knowing what will come next.”
He said that being away from loved ones at this time was difficult. “There is very little that can be done from a distance,” he said.
Dr. Karan Rangarajan, 30, an NHS surgeon, also finds it difficult not to be able to see his family in India. “Usually I would visit India two or three times a year on leave and I have not been able to travel to India in over 18 months,” he said.
Your family is afraid of basic tasks like shopping. “Usually I try not to talk too much about the situation as they hear about it on the news and it creates more anxiety,” he said.
“Many people might assume that what is happening in India is terrible, but at least it is in India. But the real tragedy is that the world will not be safe until everyone is safe … if we let the fires of a pandemic continue to burn, those fires will eventually ignite in other areas. “
Chintal Patel, a GP, said his uncle was in intensive care last month. “We are lucky, since three weeks ago he was not well… which is crazy, but he had access to medical attention. It wasn’t bad then and he made it back home and he’s fine. If he had felt bad now, I’m not sure what would have happened. It’s horrible, ”he said.
“It is important to remember that it is a global problem and a global epidemic and, as such, it needs an international global effort to put an end to it. That is why we have to work together around the world. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism