The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) is sending $1.1 million to help combat the deadly surge of COVID-19 in India. The funds will go toward services already being provided on the ground in India by The Salvation Army, which will continue long after the initial needs are met.
“The Salvation Army’s presence in over 132 countries gives us the ability to quickly help those in need on the other side of the world,” said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander for The Salvation Army. “We simply could not look on without action while the people of India suffer through a heartbreaking surge of pandemic poverty and loss of lives.”
The Salvation Army will immediately put the $1.1 million to use in the provision of services including:
- Improved oxygen supplies
- More personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Additional nurses and other personnel to relieve current staff
- Solar refrigerators to store vaccines and other medications when the electrical supply is unreliable
As of May 4, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports a total of 20,282,833 COVID-19 cases in India and an increase of 357,229 cases in the most recent 24-hour period. To date, there has been a total of 222,408 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 in India, according to the WHO.
“At present, what we can do is bring hope as a reality to the people who are losing hope,” said Colonel Lalhmingliana, India national executive officer.
With more than 3,000 locations and nearly 400,000 members and officers in India, The Salvation Army is already providing and will continue to provide services that include:
- Practical support for families who have lost their livelihoods through lockdown or bereavement.
- Communication of accurate COVID-19 prevention and immunization information from local officials.
- Distribution of hygiene supplies, like hand sanitizers and masks.
- The Salvation Army’s Evangeline Booth Hospital (EBH) in Ahmednagar has 160 beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, with 50 requiring oxygen. 27 additional patients with COVID-19 symptoms were admitted on April 26, and more come each day.
- All services are free.
- Emery Hospital in Gujarat state, operated by The Salvation Army, is providing 50 beds for COVID-19 patients.
- The Salvation Army’s Catherine Booth Hospital in Nagercoil is providing 50 beds for COVID-19 patients as well as meals and other essential support, including emotional and spiritual care.
- MacRobert Hospital in Dhariwal, Punjab, has prepared a 150-plus bed capacity facility for COVID-19 patients. The Salvation Army clinicians have also supported the government in its rollout of the local COVID-19 vaccination campaign at this location.