A woman takes her children on a wheelchair after receiving free food in Hyderabad on Monday. AFP
With an absence of a central/state level repository of data pertaining to availability of oxygen and ICU beds in the severely-hit states, people from various walks of life are currently using social media platforms by collating information on COVID-19 resources to help the needy.
Twitter and Facebook have become the virtual command centres with the help of users, as governments fail to provide any real-time data on the availability of life-saving drugs and beds as the crisis deepens.
Amid the chaos and false information being circulated is a silver lining for thousands of corona-hit families from Delhi and Lucknow to Bengaluru, who are seeking help on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Some have come forward to help people suffering from pandemic-induced mental stress, via Zoom or Google Meet apps.
A girl carrying a food plate walks past people standing in queue to receive free food in Hyderabad. AFP
"In the next few weeks, I'm blocking some time to offer free psychotherapy sessions to anyone who'd like a layer of support in these distressing times. I can provide a safe listening space & share some coping strategies. Kindly RT for reach. DMs open. First come, first serve," posted Shruti Goutham who works in public health with Stanford Med School.
Ershad Kaleebullah, editor of MySmartPrice.com, tweeted: "Two fantastic online resources for hospital Beds here: Bangalore - covidbengaluru.com and Delhi - coronabeds.jantasamvad.org/beds.html. RT to help people in need."
Some posted information about where to find free food in such difficult times.
Ankit Vengurlekar, India Managing Editor at LinkedIn News, posted: "Saroj Didi and Jaya amma are cooking fresh and homely vegetarian meals for Covid patients in HSR layout, Koramangala, BTM layout and Bellandur. Didi's Kitchen meals are free and made with love. All you need to do is book Dunzo/Swiggy genie pick-up from my home in HSR. DM if you need a tiffin."
Virus-hit people receive free food in Hyderabad. AFP
Prem Shankar Mishra from Lucknow tweeted: "Here is the information on where to find a hospital with referral and without referral, along with the cost. This will help reduce your waiting time and cut travel woes too".
With 3,52,991 fresh COVID-19 cases and 2,812 deaths, India saw a new record high as a deadly second wave sweeps the country.
This is the fifth straight day that over 3 lakh cases have been recorded in the country and nearly 10 lakh cases have been reported in the last 72 hours.
Indo-Asian News Service
Financial capital suspends vaccine campaign for three days; since the end of February; vaccine producers have struggled to boost capacity; supplies arrive from Britain, Ireland, Romania and United States
Cases have fallen steadily in some Indian states hit by an initial surge in infections, such as the richest state of Maharashtra and the capital New Delhi, after they imposed stringent lockdowns. Testing rates also at their lowest since Sunday.
The latest phase of these repatriation flights, known as the "Vande Bharat Mission," began on March 1 and will last till March 28. Slightly more than 1,350 international flights are scheduled to be operated from 28 countries in this phase, enabling an estimated 260,000 Indians to travel home.
"There is need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution so as to fully overcome the pandemic. States and Union Territories have also been advised to speed up the vaccination of the target population so as to break the chain of transmission and overcome the pandemic..."
This came in a phone call Sheikh Mohamed received on Wednesday from the Syrian president where they also discussed the ongoing developments in Syria and the Middle East in addition to issues of regional and international interest.
Beijing has maintained a relentless zero-Covid approach with strict border closures and targeted lockdowns, even as other countries tentatively try to ease restrictions.
The pony-tailed senior Khan sporting dark shades and a black facemask over a grey half-sleeved T-shirt was virtually mobbed by the paparazzi and the hordes of policemen as he entered the menacing barred gates of the ARCJ in the congested south Mumbai.