For more than a year, Dr. Darshan Shah at the forefront of the local fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Shah was forced to watch from a distance as the virus decimates his homeland, India, whose health system is overwhelmed by a record number of new infections and deaths. To date, more than 21 million infections and more than 234,000 deaths have been reported. Experts believe these are likely to be enormous Subcounts.

Shah said the “whole nation is turning into a cemetery.”

“It’s utterly terrible and now, in the past two or three weeks, it’s just over the turning point,” said Shah, a pediatric professor and doctor at East Tennessee State University. Shah said the situation was “mind-boggling”, describing it as a “tsunami” of infections and deaths that has made some of his family members sick and claimed the lives of another.

“It’s very, very difficult,” said Shah as he watched the situation develop from thousands of kilometers away.

India’s coronavirus surge began in February and has devastated the country’s health system – with medical oxygen and other life-saving medical supplies that are critically scarce across the country.

Shah is working to improve the situation by raising money to buy oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies to be sent to an organization called Gokuldham, which runs a COVID-19 hospital with a capacity for 100 people in a school building in opened in a rural area of ​​India. The hospital, Shah said, serves approximately 65 villages for a total population of more than 100,000 people.

“There isn’t even oxygen,” said Shah. “People can’t find oxygen tanks. So there is a humanitarian crisis in a nuclear-armed country that an Aspace shuttle can independently send to Mars, but cannot support, sustain, or direct a response to a one-off health crisis. This is (one of the) reasons why many faith and social organizations like Gokuldham are starting a COVID Care hospital and we are asking for outside help.

Shah collects donations of medicine, non-perishable food, and money from people to pay for supplies, which are collected by Swaminarayan Welfare Inc., a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit in New Jersey. Donations can be sent direct to 32 Benhardt Road, Mill Town, NJ, 08850 or Shah, 147 Black Thorn Drive, Jonesborough, TN, 37659.

Shah can also be reached by email at shahd@etsu.edu.

“Please help if you can,” pleaded Shah. “Any little help, you don’t understand how great it could be for someone who is unhappy and dies. Your life can be saved with just a few dollars. “