'It's hard to sleep': Saskatchewan's Indian community concerned about COVID-19 crisis
REGINA -- Representatives of Regina’s Indian community say the mood amongst members is somber, as many are keeping a close eye on what happening to friends and family in India.
The seven-day average of daily COVID-19 infections in India hit a record 390,995 on Tuesday, with 3,876 deaths. According to a Reuters tally, India currently accounts for one in three of the reported deaths from COVID-19 around the world. It’s health system is overwhelmed with 4,000 cremations a day.
“This one is all across India, every region, every major city, every major centre has been impacted. Hence, when you talk to your friends, your family, your colleagues, everyone has a story that can relate to,” said Dharmesh Ghandi, president of the India Canada Association of Saskatchewan.
“It gets to be so disappointing at times that it’s hard to sleep, but I guess people are doing whatever they can,” said Nish Prasad, an advisory board member of the India Canada Association of Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan government announced on May 3 it was sending 100 ventilators to India. It said it will keep looking to see if there are other options to try and help.
“I think Saskatchewan has demonstrated that we've stepped up in the past to help her neighbours, Whether it's halfway around the world or right next door, so we'll continue to look at that but right now that's all we're going to be able to donate to the Government of India,” Minister of Health Paul Merriman said.
Ghandi said it’s important that Saskatchewan makes sure its residents are healthy and safe first, and if there is anything extra, that could then be sent to India.
“If there is any access I think we would appreciate if there is more that can be done, knowing that there is enough supply for us first,” Ghandi said.
To try and help, the association has created a GoFundMe page with all proceeds going to support India.
“This is a time of crisis. We are looking for support from everyone,” Prasad said.
As well, Tandoori Kabab on Albert Street and Rock Creek Tap and Grill on Quance Street are both offering meals in partnership with the association. Prasad said 80 per cent of the proceeds from the meals will be donated to help India.