14 C
New York
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Twitter becomes platform of hope amid the despair of India’s COVID crisis

Must read

U.S. embassy in the doghouse in China after student visa post backfires

Sports & General13 minutes ago (May 05, 2021 10:30PM ET) BEIJING (Reuters) - The resumption of student visa applications at U.S. missions in China got...

As COVID-19 rages in India, scientist warns further waves ‘inevitable’

2/2 (C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) stand outside a donning area at a COVID-19 care facility, amidst the spread...

BOJ policymakers agreed to focus on low rates as pandemic pain persists

Economy17 minutes ago (May 05, 2021 10:25PM ET) (C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks past the headquarters of Bank of...

Liberty Global Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1

Stock Markets22 minutes ago (May 05, 2021 10:20PM ET) (C) Reuters. Liberty Global Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1 Investing.com - Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) reported on Wednesday...
imageWorld13 minutes ago (Apr 21, 2021 06:30AM ET)

2/2
(C) Reuters. Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Delhi

2/2

By Devjyot Ghoshal and Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – After spending hours fruitlessly calling government helplines in a search for a hospital bed for a critically ill COVID-19 patient, Indian lawyer Jeevika Shiv posted an SOS request on Twitter.

“Serious #covid19 patient in #Delhi with oxygen level 62 needs immediate hospital bed,” Shiv, part of a 350-member COVID-19 volunteer Medical Support Group, said on Twitter late last week.

Help came quickly. The patient found a bed and was soon showing signs of recovery.

“Finally, it was help online that worked as people responded with information,” Shiv said.

India is reporting more than 250,000 new COVID-19 cases a day in its worst phase of the pandemic. Hospitals are turning away patients and supplies of oxygen and medication are running short.

In response, people are bypassing the conventional lines of communication and turning to Twitter to crowdsource help for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds and other requirements.

People in need and those with information or resources share telephone numbers of volunteers, vendors who have oxygen cylinders or drugs, and details of which medical facility can take patients using hashtags like #COVIDSOS.

Some users have offered to help with home-cooked meals for COVID patients quarantining at home and to meet a host of other needs like arranging to feed pets.

“Twitter is having to do what the government helpline numbers should be doing,” wrote Twitter user Karanbir Singh.

“We are on our own folks.”

Twitter is not as widely used in India as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or WhatsApp but it is proving a more valuable tool to get pleas for help out in the coronavirus crisis, largely because of its “re-tweet” function that can quickly amplify a message through users’ networks of contacts.

A Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) spreadsheet drawn up by a volunteer group that collates information on hospital beds, oxygen supplies, blood plasma and ambulance helplines in various states is being rapidly shared on Twitter and runs into dozens of pages.

Bengaluru-based software developer Umang Galaiya, 25, has created a website that allows users to select the name of the city and the requirement – be it oxygen or the antiviral drug remdesivir – and then directs them to results on Twitter using its advance search feature.

His website has received more than 110,000 hits.

“Every other tweet on my feed has been about COVID,” Galaiya said.

“I’m glad people are finding this helpful.”

But for some, help comes too late.

On Monday, journalist Sweta Dash posted a plea for help on Twitter to find bed with a ventilator for a pregnant woman in New Delhi. Her message spread quickly through more than 100 retweets and a Delhi government official soon suggested a hospital.

But a few hours later, Dash posted another message.

“The patient passed away”.

Twitter becomes platform of hope amid the despair of India’s COVID crisis

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

- Advertisement -

Latest article

U.S. embassy in the doghouse in China after student visa post backfires

Sports & General13 minutes ago (May 05, 2021 10:30PM ET) BEIJING (Reuters) - The resumption of student visa applications at U.S. missions in China got...

As COVID-19 rages in India, scientist warns further waves ‘inevitable’

2/2 (C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) stand outside a donning area at a COVID-19 care facility, amidst the spread...

BOJ policymakers agreed to focus on low rates as pandemic pain persists

Economy17 minutes ago (May 05, 2021 10:25PM ET) (C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks past the headquarters of Bank of...

Liberty Global Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1

Stock Markets22 minutes ago (May 05, 2021 10:20PM ET) (C) Reuters. Liberty Global Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1 Investing.com - Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) reported on Wednesday...

Revolut app announces Bitcoin withdrawals… within limits

Sign In/Free Sign Up 0 Cryptocurrency23 minutes ago (May 05, 2021 10:20PM ET) Revolut app announces Bitcoin withdrawals... within limits Europe's leading financial app...