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San Diego Indian Community Raising Money for COVID Relief in India

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 5/9/2021 Ramon Galindo
a group of teddy bears sitting on top of a bed: A Kashmiri man receives the COVISHIELD vaccine for COVID-19 at a primary health center in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, April 28, 2021. India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, Wednesday became the fourth nation to cross 200,000 deaths. © AP

A Kashmiri man receives the COVISHIELD vaccine for COVID-19 at a primary health center in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, April 28, 2021. India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, Wednesday became the fourth nation to cross 200,000 deaths.

A record number of COVID-19 deaths were reported Saturday in India. The country recorded more than 4,000 deaths in the last 24 hours, and more than 400,000 new infections. The Indian community in San Diego is trying to increase awareness about the problem and raise money for hospital supplies.

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“My dad lost his uncle and his aunt in the last week and basically everyone in the Indian community have family back home who have tested covid positive,” said Parima Shah, a Carmel Valley resident.

Shah is local a software engineer who has spent time in India's rural areas. She says those are the areas that lack the infrastructure to treat the growing number of coronavirus patients.

“The number one thing they need in India is oxygen cylinders, respirators, hospital beds,” said Shah

Shah and others in San Diego’s Indian community have begun raising money for those medical supplies needed most. They're collaborating with the international non-profit group, S-R Love and Care, which is putting up temporary clinics to treat COVID-19 patients in the hardest-hit regions.

“Volunteers have worked night and day to put this 50 bed ICU unit that’s covid specific,” said Shah.

Locally, volunteers have been selling baked goods and other products online to raise funds. Shah is now teaching yoga classes on the side to raise more money.

“We’re really one big global family and even though pockets of the world are doing better. We as a global family will continue to be affected until we’re all ok,” said Shah.

Shan and other local volunteers have set up a fundraising page on Facebook to support healthcare efforts in India.

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