The Prince of Wales has expressed hiss deep sadness at the devastating surge of coronavirus in India, and has he urged the public to back an appeal to buy oxygen equipment for the stricken nation.
On Wednesday, Prince Charles sent a message to the people of India, telling of his heartbreak at the "tragic images we have all seen as COVID-19 takes its horrific toll".
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India's coronavirus death toll now stands at more than 200,000, as a surge of new infections tears through cities and rural areas alike and leaves healthcare systems on the brink of collapse.
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Hospital cases and deaths have reached record highs, overwhelming healthcare workers, while patients are suffocating because hospitals’ oxygen supplies have run out.
The British Asian Trust, which the Prince founded in 2007, has launched its Oxygen For India emergency appeal to raise funds for oxygen concentrators, and, together with local partners in India, will rapidly deploy them to hospitals and patients most in need.
Charles, 72, has made a personal donation to the campaign. In a statement, he said: "I have been deeply saddened by the tragic images we have all seen as Covid-19 takes its horrific toll in India.
Prince Charles during his visit to New Delhi, India in November 2019
"Like many others, I have a great love for India and have enjoyed many wonderful visits to the country.
"Indian aid and ingenuity has been a support to other countries through this immensely difficult time. As India has helped others, so now must we help India."
He added: "I would also want those suffering the effects of this pandemic in India to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers. Together, we will win this battle."
For the past week, more than 2,000 Indians have died every day. Desperate family members are sending SOS messages on social media, hoping someone will help them find oxygen cylinders, empty hospital beds and critical drugs for their loved ones.
Donations can made at justgiving.com/campaign/indiacovidappeal
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