COVID-19 emergency: Lives hang on Twitter threads

“Surreal to see tweets asking for beds/oxygen for a friend — knowing that this time, the friend was me,” wrote Delhi based writer, Narayani Basu on Twitter after she found help for her mother on internet.

“Everyone who came together to help my overwhelmed mum, thank you. More than I can say. I’m not out of the woods yet, but with ❤️ like this, am luckier than most,” Basu tweeted.

Basu is among the hundreds who are depending social media to get help amidst collapsed health infrastructure across India due to record spike in coronavirus caseload.

“Whoever is reaching out to me for Remdesivir injections in Delhi/Noida, please do tag me here,” Sania Ahmed tweeted. Ahmed has been sourcing Remdesivir, an injectable drug used for COVID-19 treatment, that is in high demand since last week.

Many hospitals have run out of antiviral drugs on Thursday creating panic in many cities. Depleting stock of drugs and oxygen cylinder has been flagged by many health workers.

Health facilities are running in full occupancy in worst hit states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi with hundreds of patients desperately waiting for treatment.

Journalists, activists and celebrities have stepped up to the situation, sharing calls for help. Twitter is flooded with request for drugs, plasma and oxygen cylinder.

After hundreds turned to internet to find drugs, pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories’ official website has listed various details on the availability of Remdesivir as well as Favipiravir tablets used to treat COVID-19 patients.

The website — readytofightcovid.in — lists all hospitals and pharma shops in different cities which have the two drugs available, along with phone numbers and addresses, reports NDTV.

India has been the world’s worst-hit country since April, now recording 2 lakh daily cases. Fatalities crossed 1000 mark on Wednesday and is feared to increase in coming days.

“A lot of people are requesting help on social media, and in many cases, they are getting timely assistance. We should all acknowledge the economic privelege that we have which allows us to do that. Many don’t,” Alt News founder, Pratik Sinha reminded.