Covid-19 Update from the Church of North India

First published on: 30th April 2021

On 30th April, USPG met with representatives of the Church of North India to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in India, particularly focusing on the situation in West Bengal.

The Rt Rev’d Sameer Khimla, Bishop of the Diocese of Durgapur in the Church of North India, said that “Medical facilities across India have crashed. In West Bengal, we have a “triple-mutant” form of Covid-19 which spreads via airborne transmission. Yesterday, there were 16,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported. The real number of cases is likely to be much higher than that, as very few people can be tested for the virus. There is nowhere to bury the dead as the cemeteries are full, and the hospitals are not admitting new patients. Political leaders are currently focused on state assembly elections, but we hope that after these finish on 2nd May, they will concentrate on responding to this pandemic”.

Pradeep Baux, Administrator of the Khristiya Seva Niketan (KSN) Hospital in Sarenga, West Bengal, said that “We are working to create more bedspace at the KSN hospital by moving hospital equipment to nearby accommodation. We are also arranging transport for villagers from their homes to the testing centres. Our immediate needs are protective equipment for our hospital staff and oxygen supplies for our patients. In the longer term, we need more beds, more doctors and more nurses to deal with the ongoing crisis”.

Bishop Sameer added, “USPG is standing by us and we greatly appreciate this. We ask for your prayers for the Diocese of Durgapur, West Bengal and India”. Pradeep concluded, “Alongside the practical support USPG is providing in terms of helping us to secure personal protective equipment and oxygen supplies, simply knowing we have your support is so encouraging. We are all in this journey together”.

To find out more about USPG’s India Covid Appeal, follow this link: www.uspg.org.uk/indiacovid.php