by Priya Yadav
The demand for medical oxygen has dramatically surged amid the second wave of COVID-19 in India as the country is struggling with a massive shortage. Industry figures indicate that while pre-COVID demand for oxygen was 700 tonnes per day (TPD), the demand increased to 2,800 TPD last year and is now over 5,000 TPD during the second pandemic wave.
As scary scenarios unfold in hospitals across India, including Delhi, with the deaths of COVID-19 patients being reported amid a lack of oxygen supplies, the nation battling the second wave of the deadly pandemic has received moral support from business tycoons, environmental activists, and even cricketers.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, an Indian-American business executive, took to Twitter to express how saddened and “heartbroken” he is by the situation in India, which registered 352,991 new COVID-19 cases in a record surge over the past 24 hours.
I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the U.S. government is mobilizing to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) April 26, 2021
An emotional appeal by former captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team, Shoaib Akhtar, who sought the support of his fans and the Pakistani government for people in dire need of oxygen in India, has touched a lot of hearts, too.
India is really struggling with Covid-19. Global support needed. Health care system is crashing. Its a Pandemic, we are all in it together. Must become each other’s support.
Full video: https://t.co/XmNp5oTBQ2#IndiaNeedsOxygen #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/vX1FCSlQjs
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 23, 2021
The video, where Akhtar asks the Pakistani government and people to help India with ambulances and oxygen has garnered 732,000 views on Twitter.
“It is impossible for any government to tackle such a crisis. I appeal from my heart to please help our brothers and sisters, our elders in India in need of oxygen and medicines”, said Akhtar.
His tweet was met with appreciation and sarcasm alike, but Indian actress Swara Bhasker expressed her gratitude for the solidarity and kindness.
Heartening to see Pakistani civil society & social media reach out in solidarity & kindness to India, during this devastating time.. this despite the fact that our media & mainstream public discourse have consistently mocked & vilified Pakistanis.. Thank u 4 ur bada dil Padosi 💙
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) April 24, 2021
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has also since reacted to a news report about people dying amid a shortage of oxygen in hospitals, urging the international community to offer assistance to the COVID-hit country.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) April 24, 2021
Her tweet seeking help for India in need of oxygen led to a range of reactions, with some questioning the perceived silence of Indian celebrities on the issue.
Hope now shameless Indian Celebs would open their mouth because “external forces” started interfering “Internal affair” of India.
— Md Asif Khan (@imMAK02) April 24, 2021
The former captain of the Australian Cricket Team, Adam Gilchrist, also conveyed his best wishes to India during the pandemic while questioning the need to continue cricket series of the Indian Premier League amid a health crisis.
Best wishes to all in India 🇮🇳 Frightening Covid numbers. #IPL continues. Inappropriate? Or important distraction each night? Whatever your thoughts, prayers are with you. 🙏
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) April 24, 2021
His tweet got over 10,000 retweets and over a thousand comments on Twitter as people weighed the pros and cons of cricket amid the pandemic.
Three things are sacrosant in India: Elections, Cricket and Bollywood. They can’t be questioned even if the whole country is burning. But if it helps keep people stay glued to their tellies, remain indoors and stay safe then I’m all for it.
— Manish (@Manish85818177) April 24, 2021
In solidarity with grave situation in country, continuing to conduct IPL isn’t appropriate. Feels like we just don’t care whatever happens to masses.
We celebrate wins, sixes, wickets every night while thousand/ lakhs across country are anxious/ uncertain for their loved ones.
— Ashutosh Gupta (@ashutoshgupta27) April 24, 2021