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Virginia COVID-19 vaccine coordinator eyes India: ‘it’s serious’

Richmond, VA – The COVID-19 outbreak continues to rage in India, with hundreds of thousands of new cases reported each day. The number of patients overwhelmed the country’s doctors and hospitals.

Painful feelings are also felt here, especially in the Virginia Indian community.

Ekta Chaweewan said she was confused when looking at the COVID-19 crisis in India.

“Guilt, helplessness and anger,” said Chawla, president of the Virginia Indian Society. “It’s hard to imagine what chaos happened in that country.”


Chawla said many members of the India Association of Virginia have lost loved ones from the virus.

“Siblings who are 38, cousins ​​are 28, their parents are relentless,” she said.

Among the people of Central Virginia who lost a loved one in India, Dr. Danny Vula, State Vaccine Coordinator

Avula said COVID claimed the life of his uncle a year ago and a cousin a few weeks ago.

“It’s devastating,” Avula said. “I think it’s a heavy and heavy burden for many out there.”

He cited India’s combination of large population density, lack of resources and emerging diversity as the root cause of the problem.

“We continue to talk about this race with different species. The more we can be sure that people are not hosting new mutations and new diseases, the more likely we will be able to prevent that.” He said

In response to the crisis, nonprofit organizations from around the world have worked to provide aid to India.

Ben Phillips, an international non-profit Childfund Foundation in Richmond, said they have had a team on the ground since the first wave and are helping to set up a temporary rehab facility.

“Things are pretty dreadful,” Phillips said. “Hospitals and health centers are all over the place, I mean there are no more places to go.”

The nonprofit also helps families affected by the virus and through vaccination campaigns.

“Access to the educational community helps people understand what and why it is important,” he said.

Chawla said many of her members took personal steps to help. As a group, they have organized some events and will hold a virtual concert on Sunday with the goal of raising $ 20,000 for relief efforts, Chawla said, although our area may be near the end of the COVID epidemic, but There is a guilt that India is suffering so great with no end.

“We don’t want to celebrate, we don’t want to together until the situation returns to normal,” she said.

The IAVA event will be broadcast live on multiple platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, on Sundays from 5 PM to 8 PM.

You can donate to IAVA here and ChildFund here.

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