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Indian-American doctors' organisation launches mask campaign in US

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

An influential US organisation representing Indian-American doctors has launched a fundraising campaign to donate masks and other personal protective equipment to health care providers, who are facing acute shortage of these essential items in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to production and distribution delays in China, where most of the personal protective equipment (PPE) is manufactured, healthcare facilities are experiencing shortages of much needed masks and PPE, said American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical organisation in the US.

The AAP said on Thursday that it had launched a fundraising campaign to support their fellow professionals, providing them with masks that are so vital to prevent them from contracting the deadly virus.

As we are not prepared well, our frontline soldiers (physicians) are working under suboptimal conditions with severe shortage of GS masks and other protective gear. As a result, some of the foot soldiers (front line physicians) have succumbed to this deadly virus, said AAPI president Suresh Reddy.

A task force has been constituted to identify the hospitals and sending the supply of masks and PPE directly, a statement said.

COVID-19 is playing havoc on the streets and isolating family members at home. The results are catastrophic, Reddy said.

We don't have vaccines or anti-viral agents to effectively treat the patients with this strange disease. In the next four weeks, we will have a lot more Americans helplessly dying due to this virus. Now even young people in their 20s are dying from this viral disease. This is a global war on this rakshas' virus, Reddy said.

India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu complimented AAPI for taking the lead in connecting hundreds of doctors across the United States to support and share experiences in this time of crisis.

Globally, a total of 24,057 people have died due to the novel coronavirus with Italy standing at the top with 8,215 deaths, followed by Spain (4,365) and China (3,169), the varsity figures stated.

America leads with 85,653 COVID-19 cases, followed by China with 81,782 and Italy with 80,589 infections, the data showed.

At least 1,290 Americans have died due to coronavirus so far.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 27 2020. 10:20 IST