The COVID-19 catastrophe continues in India with a record number of people infected and a single-day record for deaths.
International help is on the way, but that’s little consolation to members of the local Indian community, whose loved ones are in the middle of what one doctor describes as “hell”.
The health ministry reported another 3,300 deaths over the past 24 hours, pushing the total number of fatalities from this second wave of COVID-19 to more than 200,000.
“I get around 50 calls a day, somebody asking for beds, somebody asking for cylinders, somebody asking for drugs. We don't have anything available and patients are dying,” said Dr. Piush Girdar, a critical care physician.
Gagandeep Kaur manages the Mehfil Indian restaurant in San Francisco, but her mind is 12,000 miles away with friends and family in New Delhi.
“It’s like a heartbroken time for us,” she said. “If you talk to any of the Indian families or Indian friends we all want to see them we all want to help them but it’s like a very hard time.”
Health care systems are overwhelmed, and on the verge of collapse and front line workers see no end in sight.
"This pandemic is the worst we have ever seen until now. And these two weeks are going to be hell for us,” said Dr. Shaarang Sachdev, head of emergency medicine.
Allies are urgently ramping up their response. A shipment out of Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield Wednesday afternoon, one of many from the United States, included oxygen cylinders, N-95 masks and rapid COVID tests.
India reported more than 362,000 new infections Wednesday, a new global one-day record, raising the total to nearly 18 million.