Calgarians concerned for loved ones in India as COVID-19 cases soar

Grim video and photos are emerging from India.

Crematoriums and burial grounds are overwhelmed, hospitals are running out of oxygen and people are dying in the streets before getting medical help.

On Sunday, for the fourth straight day, India set a global daily record for new COVID-19 infections.

“It’s a pretty bad situation, especially in the major cities,” said Calgarian Gagan Grewal.

“We’re in the middle of a crisis right now. The hospitals are overflowing with patients, and there’s limited oxygen right now. In some areas, there’s no supply at all,” Devesh Oberoi said.

Read more: ‘It’s over’: India COVID-19 patients suffocate as cases surge during oxygen shortage

Oberoi was born in India and was a physician there before moving to Calgary. He’s also the director of the Indian Society of Calgary.

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The India Ministry of Health reported 349,691 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to more than 16.9 million.

Officials said there were 2,767 new deaths, pushing India’s death toll to over 192,311.

“It’s a mixed situation where in big cities, there is a health crisis, but small cities are under control,” Devesh said.

Read more: India’s crematoriums overwhelmed as COVID-19 cases surge

Grewal is worried about her family living in India.

“We’re pretty worried for my aunts and uncles that live in the city,” she said.

The massive spike has been attributed to the government loosening lockdown restrictions and a new variant of the virus.

Read more: COVID-19 variant first detected in India found in Canada. What we know so far

Canada is ready to supply India with medical equipment like ventilators and personal protective equipment.

The federal government has said it is in talks with the country about ways to help.

Read more: As COVID-19 cases explode in India, Canada ready to help with medical supplies: Anand

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There are also local efforts to help. Fundraising pages have been set up along with a handful of non-profit foundations and organizations.

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