Srinagar, May 4: From arranging concentrators, medicines, food items to setting up wellness centres, this is how Kashmiris help to each other to fight COVID-19.
Several local charitable organizations provide medical equipments including oxygen concentrators, cylinders, personal protection equipment (PPE) kits, and ambulance services to people. Some have set up helplines to help with doctors consultation to people and saving numerous lives amid the crisis in Kashmir.
They are on the forefront when people are gasping for oxygen in several parts of India.
At the same time, hundreds of Kashmiris have dedicated themselves to fight COVID as hospitals are struggling to cope with a relentless inflow of patients mainly complaining of bilateral pneumonia who need oxygen support.
The number of COVID cases has increased drastically over the last few weeks. Each day, on an average, Jammu and Kashmir reports over 4000 COVID-positive cases.
Ehsaas International, an NGO has provided thousands of PPE kits to healthcare and sanitation workers besides the common masses since last year. Recently it donated 300 PPE kits to Srinagar Municipal Corporation to be used by its front line workers for sanitization exercises.
Hakim Mohammad Ilyas, a representative of the NGO, said they are setting up three wellness centres in Srinagar for COVID patients in collaboration with Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
“They will be equipped with oxygen concentrators, cylinders and will have internet facilities, LCD projectors besides indoor game facilities for entertainment of patients. Patients will be treated by volunteer doctors of the NGO,” Ilyas told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
He said they receive good financial support from the common people. “People are generous enough who help us in this cause,” he said.
He said they have 60 oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment for COVID patients.
“We have ordered 100 more oxygen concentrators,” he said.
Ehsaas International has also roped-in 300 Kashmiri doctors who work abroad to help patients free on phone.
Another charitable organization ‘Athrout’ has been distributing masks, and providing medicines to needy. It has also kept more than 200 oxygen concentrators available for patients in Kashmir. “We also have auto BiBap (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure machines besides many medical equipment for the patients,” one of the volunteers associated with Athrout said.
Mohammad Ali Lone from an NGO ‘Help Poor Trust’ said they have 11 ambulances including one critical care ambulance to ferry patients to hospitals. “Our volunteers work 24×7. We have 150 oxygen cylinders, 100 oxygen concentrators available for patients. The NGO also provides medicines and financial support to the needy,” Lone told news agency KINS.
Another NGO SRO Kashmir is also on the forefront to help people since the pandemic broke out last year.
Similarly, volunteers also assist deceased families to bury their loved ones and attend their last rites, who die due to the virus in Kashmir.
Sajad Ahmad Khan, a 39-year-old youth, who runs a grocery shop in Bemina Srinagar, along with a group of youth have arranged 168 funerals of COVID victims since last year in Kashmir.
He said they had to step in after many of the kin of the deceased refused to perform the last rites of their family members.