How to Help India During the COVID-19 Pandemic No Matter Where You Are in the World

As COVID-19 cases continue to soar in India, organizations all over the globe are mobilizing to help. Here's how you can offer support.

As some parts of the world emerge from the worst of COVID-19, India is experiencing the opposite.

The country is now home to the world's worst ongoing coronavirus outbreak, having reported more than 2.4 million new infections in the past week alone, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO). Hospitals across the country are struggling to manage the surge, which has decimated oxygen supplies and sent desperate patients online to beg for help.

Deaths have also spiked, with India officially reporting more than 20,000 deaths in the past seven days, according to the WHO. Those numbers don't fully capture the extent of the crisis in India, and even with foreign aid on the way, the next several weeks are expected to be devastating.

With everything from oxygen, ventilators, medicine, and ICU beds in short supply, organizations and individuals around the world are mobilizing formally and informally to help. Here are some ways you can pitch in.

A healthcare worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) attends to a Covid19 patient in the isolation ward.
A healthcare worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) attends to a Covid19 patient in the isolation ward. A banquet hall temporarily converted to a Covid19 ward for coronavirus patients. India has recorded the highest single-day spike in coronavirus infection. The report recorded 352,991 new Covid-19 cases and 2,812 people deaths in the last 24 hours amid an oxygen crisis. Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Help replenish oxygen supplies.

Several organizations, including the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Feeding India, and Paytm's PM Cares Fund, are collecting donations to buy additional oxygen concentrators, devices that can filter and generate an infinite supply of medical-grade oxygen. Paytm is matching donations rupee for rupee.

A Bay Area couple is partnering with the SaveLife Foundation to contribute to the effort. A website they launched also provides guidance to people who believe they may be able to help locate additional suppliers of oxygen concentrators.

Donate food, hygiene kits, and personal protective equipment.

Rapid Response, a local disaster relief agency, is soliciting donations to help it provide food and hygiene kits to frontline workers, migrants, and others in need. It is also working to supply hospitals with pulse oximeters, PPE kits, and hospital beds. For less than $20, you can provide someone with a COVID-19 relief kit, dry food package, or key hygiene items, like masks and sanitizer.

Rapid Response is also recruiting volunteers, including digital participants, who can help to amplify their efforts.

Care India is working to provide hospitals and frontline workers with personal protective equipment, which is increasingly in short supply. For around $135, you can cover the cost of four PPE kits.

Project Hope is also collecting donations to help it secure PPE and medicine in India.

Relatives of a person who died due to Covid-19 react during last rites at Sarai Kale Khan cremation, in New Delhi, India.
Relatives of a person who died due to Covid-19 reacting during their last rites at Sarai Kale Khan cremation, on April 26, 2021 in New Delhi, India. Amal ks/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Donate to broad COVID-19 relief efforts in India.

The Hope Foundation, which operates a hospital in Kolkata, creates a pathway for providing everything from PPE and ventilators to cardiac monitors, food, and medicine.

For $6, you can donate a PPE kit that includes a gown, face guard, mask, and gloves. For $12, you can contribute a 30-pack of surgical masks and gloves. Donors also have the option of chipping in as little as $5 to go toward things like ventilators and COVID ward operating costs.

Elsewhere in India, Unicef is collecting donations to help it get medical equipment and supplies to hospitals in need across the country. Grassroots efforts to help locally are also being coordinated through Google Docs like this one.

And GoFundMe set up a centralized hub of fundraisers to support India. GoFundMe's Trust & Safety is vetting and regularly updating this list as new fundraisers come online.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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