Christian charities and organisations have called for prayer and much-needed supplies to help relieve millions of people suffering as a result of Covid-19’s rampage in India.
According to the Disasters Emergency Committee, there were more than 2.7 million new cases in just one week in May, with more than a quarter of a million and rising known dead
Church Mission Society (CMS) partners in India have issued a call to prayer for the ‘devastating’ Covid situation, while Barnabas Fund partners have spoken of a worsening situation for Christians and other minority groups in the country, who are often the last in the pecking order to get any official or government help.
In a statement from CMS, which supports the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, two doctors based in one of India’s largest hospitals warned the situation was ‘critical’.
They said, ‘The number of people infected continues to climb, but our medical teams are being hampered by a lack of beds, insufficient oxygen needed to treat Covid patients, and shortfalls in experienced, qualified staff.’
Currently, CMC is focusing their efforts on sourcing and purchasing an additional oxygen generator, and other lifesaving equipment like portable oxygen concentrators and positive air pressure devices.
However, the hospital faces the prospect of having to turn people away as the number of new infections continues to surge.
Asia-CMS communications manager Suzane Christie said, ‘Our partners on the ground are dealing with a lot of emotional and physical stress right now and are very much in need of prayer support – mainly for family members, for their health, for their overwhelmed health system, and for their mental health as well.’
Barnabas Fund partners have stated the situation has badly affected minority groups in particular.
In a statement, Barnabas Fund partners – who have been delivering emergency supplies to families in lockdown – said, ‘The Indian Christian community, like their compatriots, are suffering.
‘Reports coming in speak of many, many church leaders contracting the virus and dying. Others are ill, languishing at home because there is no treatment. Their congregations, also sick and dying, are left without pastoral care in their anguish.’
It cited emails sent to the office, where contacts have said that approximately 60 church leaders have died; others reporting that they have lost four pastors to Covid within a week, while others have reported the deaths of missionaries from Covid.
‘These examples are just the tip of the iceberg,’ Barnabas Fund said.