Working for the most vulnerable populations in an extremely unequal country with 1.3 billion inhabitants is certainly difficult, but doing it in the midst of a pandemic becomes a huge challenge for any NGO. Like the one assumed by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, whose president, Anna Ferrer, was admitted this Tuesday to the Bathalapalli hospital in India, after testing positive for Covid-19.
Fortunately, this health center was named by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, one of the twenty-nine Indian states, as the most important to care for patients with coronavirus. And it is also the property of the Foundation since it was inaugurated in 2000,
According to the medical report, the 73-year-old president and co-founder have mild symptoms and that is why it has been entered to track it. “My mother is well and receiving the best possible care from a committed and experienced medical team,” her son told reporters.
The entry of Anna Ferrer, whose organization is based in Barcelona and has been dedicated to the care of the disadvantaged for decades, is one more example of the progress of the epidemic in the Asian country, which this Tuesday registered 50,000 new infections, the sixth consecutive day with such a high figure, adding one and a half million victims and some 34,000 deaths. It is the second country with the highest increase in deaths in the world, after the United States.
What is worrying is the rapid increase in infections in a nation that is very unequal and that accumulates the largest number of poor people on the planet, according to the UN. At the end of March, the Indian government declared strict confinementBut that confinement has ended up turning into a humanitarian tragedy in many regions where the inhabitants need to go out to work every day to get food.
Several international media published shocking images showing how the police beat with sticks crowds of people who they protested because they were hungry. They were millions of informal workers who lost their incomes overnight, and are part of the immense rural Indian migration.
With an already precarious health system, as reported by the ‘New York Times’ last week, health centers are becoming more congested and in some areas there are “Long queues of corpses in cremation centers”. This newspaper indicates that the population, inequality and the inclination of the central government to “boost the economy” are some of the factors that worsen the pandemic. As if that were not enough, the revival is also being hampered because hundreds of thousands of workers who marched to their villages are now giving up returning to the cities and sectors such as construction, industry, security or domestic employment for fear of overcrowding and the spread of the epidemic.
Not surprisingly, since quarantine was lifted in early May, infections in most cities have exploded. For this reason, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alerted Sunday about the increase in cases and asked for more use of the mask. “Sometimes we have problems with the mask. Some take it off to speak. When you think about taking it off, think about the doctors who fight the coronavirus with the mask on for hours, “recommended the Indian leader.