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COVID-19 crisis in India has many B.C. families worried

The COVID-19 crisis in India is being felt by many in B.C.

India reported more than 350,000 new COVID-19 cases along with 2,800 deaths on Monday, and there are concerns with some experts saying the numbers coming out of the South Asian country are likely an undercount.

Click to play video: India’s doctors beg for oxygen supplies as COVID-19 crisis worsens

Mission B.C.’s Harminder Gill, like many members of Canada’s Indian diaspora, said he is very concerned about the situation in India and fears for family members who live there.

“[I’m] very concerned for the reason that I don’t think they have access to Medicare like we do,”he said.

Read more:
COVID-19 variant first detected in India found in Canada. What we know so far

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the situation in India “beyond heartbreaking” on Monday. He added WHO would be sending extra staff and supplies there to help fight the pandemic.

Canada has also said it is ready to step in and supply India with medical and personal protective equipment.

Click to play video: COVID-19 situation in India ‘beyond heartbreaking,’ WHO chief says

The White House said the U.S. said it would make available sources of raw material urgently needed to manufacture Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

Satwinder Bains of the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley raises concerns about the reluctance of some to buy in and accept the threat posed by COVID-19.

“In a country like India where people are in rural cities, small villages, big cities — I am sure it is a very difficult task to get everyone to agree that these are the needs of the day and to follow through with them,” Bains said. “I think that is India’s biggest challenge.”

Read more:
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Daljot Singh of Surrey is grateful that his mother has been immunized but added that vaccine hesitancy remains an issue.

“People are pretty skeptical and they are still saying this is propaganda — (saying that) there is no such thing as COVID.”

— With files from The Associated Press

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