June 22 Update

The Update

As of June 22, India has 440,450 COVID-19 cases countrywide—almost triple the count since our last e-newsletter a month ago. The daily count of new cases has crept over 15,000, with only Brazil and the US adding more cases daily. There have been 14,015 deaths reported so far. The largest number of cases are found in metropolitan areas like Delhi and Mumbai. Testing is severely limited, but in a country of nearly 1.4 billion, the numbers could be a lot worse.

The Response

The Indian authorities have designated hospitals as either COVID-19 facilities or non-COVID-19 hospitals. Seven of EHA’s hospitals are COVID-19 facilities, but so far the districts where EHA is located have not had heavy outbreaks of the virus; only one or two EHA hospitals have treated COVID-19 patients from diagnosis to release. EHA locations have not been designated to conduct COVID-19 testing, so when EHA staff have a patient with flu-like symptoms, they give them some treatment but then are instructed to send them to a government testing facility. Many patients have been sent for testing, but the outcomes are unknown.

God has kept all of EHA’s staff healthy through this pandemic. Most of the hospitals have only been able to pay partial salaries to their staff members for several months because patient numbers are so low due to the lockdown and fear of contact. Patients who need regular care and medication are struggling to get it.

Many EHA projects are still distributing food to those most in need. The finances to do so are dwindling. Project staff are looking into addressing the long-term issues of reducing poverty, joblessness, and migration of workers looking for jobs.

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