The Reality of COVID-19 in Rural India
We are watching horrifying scenes in India’s big cities, where COVID-19 patients have been unable to get ambulances, and even the best-equipped hospitals have run out of oxygen. So what is Covid-19 doing to small, rural towns?
Most people in small villages have never used the internet and don’t have access, regardless. So how would they book vaccine appointments on the website the government has provided? They can’t and they haven’t.
And if they are able to figure out how, appointments are booked within seconds of becoming available.
Many people who live in these small villages are migrant workers who were forced to return home last March when the pandemic erupted. Thousands of workers from all over still crowd buses and train stops as they are now migrating home due to the second wave of Covid-19.
One Good Samaritan Indian man named Kumar is from Bihar, which is made up of many migrant worker families.
Kumar stated in a phone interview with NPR, “Every third household here now has at least one person with COVID-like symptoms, but they are not able to get tested,” Kumar says over a crackly phone line from his grandparents’ house. “At first it was mostly in the towns, because they have markets. But now it’s getting worse, spreading to the small villages too.”
Due to migrant workers being forced out of work and having to return home, the virus may now be moving out of big cities and into rural India — where testing is less widespread and medical care is even more difficult to find.
The district of West Champaran is home to about 4 million people. It has just three hospitals — with a total of 210 beds allocated for coronavirus patients — and they’re almost all full. There are fewer than 10 beds available on any day.
“And if your situation is worse, and you need intensive care or a ventilator or plasma, it’s not available at all,” Kumar laments. One of the local hospitals does have two or three ventilators, but there are no technicians who know how to use them, he says.
In rural areas, where two-thirds of Indians live and rely almost solely on government hospitals, access is even more dire: the ratio is 1 allopathic doctor to more than 10,000 people — ten times less than what the WHO recommends.
Besides the reality of death, there are so many false rumors that also stop people from seeking help. In rural India, people go by lived experience. So the challenge they feel is, how do they know this is COVID? When should they go to the hospital? People are scared. There are rumors like, ‘You’re more likely to die if you get hospitalized.’ So people are really, really hesitant.
Many experts suggest that the ACTUAL death count is 5-10 times higher than the figures India is predicting because there is no way to keep track of the actual impact Covid-19 is having on rural Indian populations. Please keep praying!
Source: NPR Article
About Kevin White
Kevin White is a Christian pastor, international speaker, and an international best-selling author. As a writer, Kevin’s newest book, Audacious Generosity, is a best new Christian Book of 2020. Audacious Generosity was an instant international best seller in India and the United States of America. Audacious Generosity is the New Book to Read in 2021. Look for it among Christianity books on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. Kevin’s why for life is to extend access to Jesus to all people world-wide. Kevin loves to motivate people how to encounter the presence of God in their everyday life.
As a seasoned entrepreneur, Kevin has started and helped start hundreds of businesses, churches, and nonprofit organizations. Kevin is an expert in church leadership and business development. Kevin’s shepherd’s heart can be seen in his speaking and writing. He integrates Biblical principles and worship into everything he does. Kevin’s strategy is to help people transform into the likeness of Jesus. Find more from Kevin White including his blog, podcast shows, YouTube Channel, and Generously Blessed 1MM One Minute Motivational Series at https://kevinwhite.us
Kevin is Founder and Executive Director of Global Hope India
About Global Hope India
Kevin White is the Founder/Executive Director of Global Hope India, a Christian mission organization focused on sharing the gospel in India and among Indian Nationals world-wide. We facilitate virtual mission teams to India and short-term mission teams in-person in India. These teams empower the church in India with pastoral training, youth pastor training, children’s ministry, church planting strategy, church planting ministry, and medical missions.
Global Hope India is a Christian charity that raises funds for India. 92% of every dollar given benefits gospel outreach projects in India such as church planting, orphan care, clean water projects, bibles, medical clinics, etc. Our partners in India serve the Baptist mission in India, Church of God in India as well as independent Christian churches. We do one thing – advance the gospel in India. We do it in one way – through the local church in India. Join us today by praying for India, giving to God’s work in India and going virtually or in person to make disciples in India. Find out more information at https://globalhopeindia.org
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