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India Covid crisis: Grieving Brit loses two aunts in a week with more family in hospital – World News

A Brit is desperately trying to raise money to help with the Covid crisis in India after tragically losing two aunts to the virus in a week in the ravaged country.

Mohammed Patel, 31, has launched a GoFundMe page after the dire situation in the South Asian country hit home.

Shocking pictures have shown sick people waiting in the streets outside crowded hospitals, with mass funeral pyres also being held.

India recorded more than 320,000 more cases on Tuesday as the first batch of British aid arrived, including much-needed oxygen.

Mohammed, from Bolton, sadly lost aunt Yasmin Jina, who he called his “mum in India”, on April 19.

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Mass cremations are being held to deal with the growing number of bodies

A second aunt, Hamida Jina, then died on April 24.

Both women passed away in the state of Gujarat, on the west coast, and were aged in their 50s.

Mohammed said two more members of his family – uncle Iqbal Dich and another relative, Jebun Dich – are also now ill with Covid.

He launched the fundraising page in a bid to provide ventilators and other supplies to India in the wake of the deaths.

Mohammed said: “[The situation] is just horrendous. It’s nothing like anything I have ever seen, even in a movie.

Family members and ambulance workers in PPE kit (Personal Protection Equipment) carry the body of a victim who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus at a cremation ground in New Delhi
Mohammed is trying to raise money to help with the crisis

“The first thing that came into my mind is that India is going to get destroyed as a country.

“When I asked about the figures, the doctor said there’s no point believing them because the deaths on the street don’t get registered.

“They said relatives hope someone else will bury [the bodies] because they don’t want to get anywhere near them.

“The situation is shocking. [The doctor] said he’s got people walking a mile down the road to try and get treatment.”

Mohammed, a petrol station manager, said both of his aunts were his dad’s sisters.

“Hamida got into hospital – she was in for two weeks,” he told the Mirror.

Police can be see urging the shopkeepers to close the shops before a night curfew begins after the state government's directive to curb the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus in Amritsar
Curfews have been imposed in India to try and reduce case numbers

“But by the time we got her the injections we believe it was a bit too late. There’s a shortage.

“Yasmin got sent home with oxygen but her situation got worse. She couldn’t get into hospital and sadly passed away.

“The hardest bit is that family members are not allowed to go in. We just have to rely on the word of the doctors.

“I always regarded Yasmin as my mum in India. She knew everything about me, even though I was only there a few weeks a year.”

Mohammed is now hoping that Iqbal and Jebun survive their battles with Covid.

He said: “At this moment in time, I have no information [about Jebun]. The last I got told she was put on oxygen.

Handout photo dated 25/04/21 of ventilators being loaded before being shipped from the UK to India in response to the coronavirus crisis
Many countries – including Britain – are supplying aid

“My uncle has had his injections, but he’s stopped communicating with his doctors.

“I’ve lost two aunts – now I might lose an uncle.”

Mohammed’s fundraising page has a target set of £1,500; more than £1,100 has been collected so far.

He has been in touch with hospitals and suppliers who, in principle, have agreed to sell oxygen to him.

“There’s such a shortage of oxygen, it has inflated the price,” he said.

Burning funeral pyres can be seen of the patients who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus at a crematorium in New Delhi
There are fears the true numbers in India could be much higher than reported

“I’m in negotiations with one of the suppliers. He said he would be looking to reduce the cost to where he’s just about making a profit.

“£1,500 is just a target I wanted to start with. I won’t be stopping here.

“I’m trying to get as much money as possible. I want to help as much as I can.

“I say to people: even if you can’t donate, just share the page – it raises awareness.”

The healthcare system in India has been brought to its knees by the devastating Covid surge.

Countries from around the world – including Britain – are supplying aid to try and help as cases rise rapidly.

India currently has 17.6 million cases and 197,500 deaths, although some believe the real figures to be much higher.

Around 10 per cent of the country’s population have been given a vaccine so far.

You can visit Mohammed’s GoFundMe page here.

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