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Hindu Temple of Hampton Roads sends aid to help with coronavirus crisis in India

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Posted at 12:49 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 16:52:57-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Coronavirus is spreading in Manan Shah's home country at breakneck speed.

"A lot of friends of mine - same age, like in their 40s - have died, and my wife's uncle just died last week," said Shah.

Each day, he finds out more extended family or friends have passed or are hospitalized in India.

"It is a mental trauma for me and my family as well," he said.

India is a country of 1.4 billion people where 246,000 have died of the virus.

"Mass cremations are going on. There are so many dead bodies out there, especially in rural areas," said Shah.

The infections have spiked, some 400,000 new cases in a single day. Shah knew he and his members of the Hindu Temple of Hampton Roads had to act fast.

"There is a huge need for oxygen. A lot of hospitals don't have it at all," said Shah.

Hospitals are also short-staffed, and it's a scramble to vaccinate.

"We have gathered $150,000 here from our community here," said Shah.

The temple raised that enormous amount in just five days, and they also purchased 80 oxygen concentrators that they will soon send to their home country.

"We are also planning to buy food, medicine and basic groceries and PPE for people," said Shah.

Shah says the country may have opened up too soon. Mass gatherings and no social distancing created a catastrophe.

"People are dying front and back; it is a bad situation," he said.

The temple is working with partner agencies to help distribute their donations country-wide.

"It feels wonderful," he said. "This is the time your country needs you."

If you would like to donate, click here.

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