Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, New York, June 4 announced that it, along with its attending physicians, came together to provide aid to India as it battles a new surge in COVID-19.

Nearly $100,000 in essential medical supplies, equipment and personal protective equipment as well as an additional $55,000 to fund the purchase of other critical medical supplies has been collected by Mount Sinai South Nassau and its attending medical staff, in collaboration with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin at Queens Long Island, is being shipped by Wheels Global Foundation to hospitals in India to support them in their battle against a deadly outbreak of COVID-19, the news release said.

“The purpose of this mission has two equally important aspects: to provide the hospitals, our clinical colleagues and their patients with the medical equipment and supplies they need to battle COVID-19,” Dr. Rajiv Datta, Indian American chair of the Department of Surgery at Mount Sinai South Nassau, said in a statement. “And to give them the extra inspiration, encouragement and hope that they will need to win the battle.”

The initiative, which was spearheaded by Datta, collected thousands of PPE face shields, masks, gowns and sterile gloves as well as 10 pneumatic ventilators, six CPAP machines and two ventilators along with a significant inventory of the valves, filters and masks needed to operate that equipment, it said.

At the height of the recent surge in India, more than 300,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported daily and an average of 130 people have died of COVID-19 each hour, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard.

The massive and sudden surge of COVID-19 cases has overwhelmed hospitals in India and has depleted their supplies of equipment, PPE, oxygen while exhausting healthcare workers, it said.

Mount Sinai South Nassau has been a leader in the fight against COVID-19 since last spring. “We know firsthand how devastating this disease can be,” said Richard J. Murphy, president and CEO of Mount Sinai South Nassau. “Many organizations and individuals helped us get through the worst of it last year. Now it’s our turn to try and help. We have many local residents, staff and patients on Long Island who are of Indian descent. I commend Dr. Datta for leading this effort.”

Mount Sinai South Nassau’s relief effort augments Mount Sinai Hospital’s donation and delivery of 25 ventilators and 100 sleep apnea machines with kits to convert them to ventilators to five public hospitals in India by Emirates Air flight to Mumbai.

This effort was led by Dr. Ash Tewari, chair of the Department of Urology, Mount Sinai Health System, and Michael J. McCarry, senior vice president of perioperative services, Mount Sinai Hospital. The Mount Sinai Health System acquired the ventilators for its own COVID-19 surge last year.

Dr. Abhay Malhotra, president of AAPI-QLI, said, “AAPILQI is always at the forefront to provide community service. Given the critical situation in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt a moral responsibility to do a fundraiser and provide India with essential medical supplies. We are very thankful to Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital for their tremendous efforts for raising funds and providing medical supplies for this endeavor.”

AAPIQLI is also working on a telemedicine project in which physicians from the U.S. will volunteer to provide expert medical advice overseas by a telemedicine platform, the release said.

“It is our hope that this donation is a help to India’s hospitals and their patients,” added Datta. “At the same time, the AAPQLI and Mount Sinai South Nassau physicians join me in adamantly advising the people and our family and friends in India to follow every recommendation that will keep them safe and healthy.” 

More information or to contribute medical equipment or supplies, can be found by visiting https://aapiqli.org/donate.

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