India’s COVID crisis: How can you help?
HRD Asia: In a matter of weeks, the deadly new wave has devastated countless lives. Can leaders help?
by Nurhuda Syed
The world can only do so much to help India as the populous nation faces a deadly new wave of COVID-19. We’ve seen startling videos and images of hospitals turning away patients, doctors pleading for help, and public parking lots turned into makeshift crematoriums for families to perform the final rites for their loved ones. The healthcare system has crumbled under the overwhelming number of patients and has faced a dire oxygen shortage, a crucial treatment for severe COVID patients.
Fortunately, this week presented a glimmer of hope as the health ministry reported a continual decline in confirmed cases, dropping below the 300,000 daily infections since April. Before this, daily highs of 400,000 were the norm since the contagious new wave hit in February. As of Monday, the daily death toll stood at about 4,000. Local governments have also been extending lockdowns to facilitate testing and help contain the pandemic.
Despite this, experts believe that the actual reality of the pandemic may be worse than official tallies have made them out to be. This is because it’s nearly impossible to get accurate reports of every single infection across the nation – especially when the virus attacks rural towns and villages. And in rural India, those who contract the virus may not even have easy access to a testing facility, resulting in an even more devastating situation on the ground.
How to support staff through the COVID crisis
Another tragic reality of the new wave is that even if you don’t contract the virus, you’d likely know someone who has. Family, friends, and colleagues across the nation are forced to deal with the heavy mental burden of seeing someone in their lives suffer, whether they’re nearby or living in another state, making it a very personal experience.
Offer critical emotional and mental support
WWT, a global technology firm with offices in India, has also been offering similar employee benefits. Staff have access to telemedicine consultations and can get medicine delivered to them, so they don’t have to leave their home to get adequate treatment. WWT was also quick to offer free vaccinations for staff and their family members when they heard of the situation in India.