Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid India: UAE residents seek help for families back home

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on April 24, 2021 | Last updated on April 25, 2021 at 12.33 am

Many UAE expatriates have elderly parents back home in India.

In a desperate cry for help, several UAE residents are reaching out to social workers in the UAE for access to medicines, oxygen tanks, and hospital beds.

"Many UAE expatriates here have elderly parents back home in India. In some cases, both parents need hospitalization. They feel completely helpless as travelling to India in the current climate is not an option for many," said Rahul Tulpule, a Dubai-based businessman and UAE representative of the social outreach group 'Rescuing Every Distressed Indian Overseas' (Redio).

Tulpule said the intensity of the calls and enquiries increased over the past week. "Last week, we helped out seven to eight expatriates with families back home. The most common issue is that they cannot find hospital beds and there is a shortage of Remdesivir. We are connecting the expats with our network of social workers and healthcare workers back home."

Girish Pant, a Dubai-based social worker and winner of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardee, said, "I have received several messages and calls from expatriates in Oman, UAE, and from India requesting help. They are in dire need of medicines, hospital admissions, and oxygen tanks." He said a majority of the calls are coming in from Bangalore, Delhi, and a few calls from other parts of the country.

He added, "People are asking for help because they are not able to easily access medicine and medical services. Though I cannot do much sitting here, I've been referring them to my contacts in India. The callers and the public are extremely distressed; they are very worried for their loved ones."

'Inaccurate data flow'

Tulpule explained, "Though municipalities in Pune and Mumbai have created digital applications that show available hospital beds, local hospitals are not updating that information, which makes the data flow inaccurate."

He said this makes the available information irrelevant, and people are having to call several hospitals a day in search of a bed. The shortage of Remdisvir is another genuine issue, according to Tulpule. "We are getting several calls for it. There are only 12 drug manufacturers in India who supply the medicine. It is not enough," he said.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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