Tri-Cities doctor starts GoFundMe to provide COVID-19 relief for India as country’s pandemic conditions worsen

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – As the United States enters a new phase of the Coronavirus vaccine, India becomes the second country in the world to have more than 20 million total virus cases.

India’s struggle is something that local leaders at Ballad Health have recognized and have decided to do something about.

Ballad Health posted on Facebook Tuesday that the health system, along with its senior management team, is raising $20,000 to donate to India.

News Channel 11 spoke with Ballad doctor Amit Vashist, who organized a Go Fund Me on the crisis the country is seeing right now.

“What they have projected with India is, even with universal masking where about 95% or more of the population wears a mask, India will, sadly, lose 950,000 close to 1,000,000 citizens by August of this year. It’s a tragedy all around,” Dr. Vashist said. “You cannot eliminate it, but we have a way where we can mitigate it and reduce the suffering.”

Money raised will go towards ventilators, portable hospitals, testing and medicine for the people of India.

“No amount of help is too much for what’s happening across India, so we are hoping to beat our target of $20,000 dollars and possibly go much farther than that,” Dr. Vashist said.

More than $12,000 has been raised so far. You can visit the GoFundMe by clicking here.

Dr. Vashist also urged the community to take the proper precautions here so as to avoid India’s struggle.

“Please remember, what India is suffering right now could easily befall us if we are not careful going forward as well. The variant strains are still there. They still exist. Please, please, please mask, socially distance. Covid-19 in the United States may be at a lower level than ever before, but that is not history yet,” Dr. Vashist said. “Keep doing all the good things that have brought us this far. For people who are right at the edge of being vaccinated or not vaccinated, I can just say as a doctor, as a physician leader at Ballad, vaccines work. Now is your chance to get it, so get it now.”

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