As India continues to cope with a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin has stepped up to help the country get through the surge.
Of late, India has reported nearly 350,000 new coronavirus cases per day in the past week-plus. The spike in infections has led to deadly shortages of oxygen, ambulances and hospital beds.
Countries around the world have pledged to send aid in the form of medical supplies and vaccine doses, but urgent requests for ventilators and intensive care unit beds continue to flood social media, according to the AAPI release.
As India’s health-care system buckles under pressure, AAPI is leading several efforts to support, coordinate and reach the much-needed help in this hour of need, it said.
AAPI president Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda said in a statement that the generosity of its members and others had allowed the association to be able to make progress in its efforts to deal with an unfolding and uncontrollable COVID-19 crisis in the South Asian country.
The Indian American physician announced that “AAPI is facilitating interaction between U.S. and Indian doctors to advise them about the evidence-based protocols to treat COVID-19 patients.”
It has evaluated three HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms to treat patients in India. AAPI is also working on relaxing the restrictions on U.S. physicians to treat patients in India.
In its efforts to serve as a physician on humanitarian grounds to help patients in India, AAPI has identified and facilitates the following platforms/links for those who want to use the Telehealth established platforms: http://Mdtok.com/dr/Covid and www.eGobalDoctors.com.
AAPI encourages using this route because they give global malpractice coverage: They offer free service for 1-to-3 months for its physicians to help Indian patients, as these platforms serve and help every Indian American physician to become a registered physician in India, by renewing his/her India licenses ASAP and can start services, the release said.
Regarding medical supplies, “As we pledged, we are able to very quickly secure the much needed and in demand O2 concentrators through our reliable and committed partner (SEWA International),” Jonnalagadda said. “We have shipped by air freight, the first batch of 1,000 of the O2 Concentrators on April 29.”
AAPI, in collaboration with its partners on the ground in India, has identified destinations based on urgency and acute need for the medical equipment to be able to serve and save as many lives as quickly, and to prevent avoidable catastrophe for the simple lack of oxygen, the AAPI president said, adding: “We have no doubt, this is just the beginning of a long road ahead. We are assessing the situation on the ground constantly and coordinating with various local task forces and teams.”
AAPI is in constant touch with the Indian Embassy and Indian Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan to see how best it can help India during this horrific pandemic. AAPI has also written to a letter Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to lock down the country to contain the spread of the virus, and to ramp up the vaccinations, it added.
More information on AAPI and its efforts to coordinate services for the people of India can be found at www.aapiusa.org.