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COVID-19: 7,600 km from worsening crisis, the tight-knit Indian community of Leicester takes action | UK News

An Indian community in Leicester aims to raise thousands of pounds over the weekend to help send oxygen and fund a field hospital for victims of the growing COVID-19 crisis.

Hospitals in India are running out of oxygen and people are dying on the streets – unable to seek treatment as deaths continue to rise.

At Leicester’s Swaminarayan Temple, where people prayed for affected friends and family, the community embarks on a sponsored cycle and aims to cover 7,600 km – the distance from London to Delhi.

Prayers said in a temple in Leicester
Pandemic means tight-knit community must pray alone in temple

Surendra Raj, a student at De Montfort University, is one of the participants. He fears for his mother, who lives alone in a remote village where the virus is spreading.

He calls her twice a day to check that she has not developed any symptoms of the virus.

The last time he was able to visit her was over a year ago. He wishes he could be there for her now.

Surendra said: “Who will take care of her. If she catches coronavirus, who will take her to the hospital?”

Her sister-in-law was admitted to hospital with COVID-19 last week. For a few days, her family feared that she would not succeed.

“People are afraid because there is no oxygen. The hospitals are full, so everyone is afraid,” he said.

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Sanjiv Patel is leading the fundraising efforts at the temple. He has parents in India and mourns the loss of his father to COVID-19.

When virus rates spiked in Leicester in the UK’s first wave, her entire family fell ill – including her parents.

“My dad and I ended up in the hospital in intensive care and unfortunately my dad didn’t,” he said.

Sanjiv Patel
Sanjiv Patel Raises Funds to Help Send …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-30 23:43:00