Residents with ties to India cope with rapid COVID deaths in their families


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – COVID cases continue to climb at an alarming rate in India, and some locals with ties to that country are devastated by what’s happening.

Kuldeep Singh is an immigrant from India who recently lost his aunt, uncle and his cousin from the coronavirus.

“Three members in the same family, all in 20 days,” said a tearful Kuldeep Singh. “One-by-one, every week we got that news.”

And the news didn’t stop. While attempting to cope with the sting of losing three family members, he learned his younger brother died from COVID-19 because of the lack of hospital beds.

‘”At night, when the phone is ringing we all are scared to pick up the phone, like ‘what happened now'” Kuldeep Singh said.

The nightmare tormenting South Asia’s second most populous country, is causing a rapid decline in the population due to the recent outbreak of COVID cases. According to the Associated Press (AP), India’s official count of COVID cases now exceeds the 20 million mark. Not only is the country battling the positivity rate, it is also losing the war of supplying enough hospital beds and oxygen tanks.

The AP reported that India’s official average of newly confirmed cases per day has soared from over 65,000 on April 1 to about 370,000, and deaths per day have officially gone from over 300 to more than 3,000.

“It happened all of a sudden,” said Krishan Singh, another Fort Wayne resident with family in India. “We are helpless, the only thing we are doing is looking at the Facebook and seeing people dying and there’s not enough space.”

Krishan Singh said what is mind bottling, is with so many deaths, the funeral homes are so backed up that families aren’t able to do a proper cremation with the traditional ceremony.

“They had to wait five hours at the funeral for their turn, and they were only given 15 minutes to burn the body,” Krishan Singh said. “[My family], can’t help but to see dead people in the streets. People are just burning dead bodies.”

Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Inc. (SDB Charity), is a a local nonprofit is working tirelessly to support those in need in India. The organization is providing financial help to those who work on ground zero in the midst of the COVID carnage.

SDB Charity started a GoFundMe to provide relief for India’s patients.

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