“For COVID emergencies, call me on 9148950554. Avoid text.” Saqib Idrees's phone keeps ringing ever since he posted this message on Instagram.
Idrees is a volunteer working with an emergency response team in Lingarajapuram in Bengaluru.
Two days ago, he received a call from a small girl saying her brother’s oxygen saturation was 47 per cent. Idrees told her that he would require an ICU ventilator.
There has been a huge shortage of ICU ventilators in Bengaluru.
The girl realised how serious the situation was and told him “So I guess my Bhayya has to die, no Saqib.”
“I was speechless. It tore me apart,” wrote Idrees in an Instagram post. He stayed awake that night trying hard to get the girl's brother an ICU bed.
Hundreds of patients requiring ventilator support and ICU sought his help in the last few days, and Idrees has been working round the clock lending a helping hand to patients and their families.
Amid the COVID-19 gloom and doom, local residents in Bengaluru are turning good Samaritans and extending assistance to the needy. With the second wave of COVID-19 spreading faster and proving to be deadlier than the first one, requests from patients seeking plasma donors, oxygen cylinders or hospital admission keep pouring in. Volunteers help ease the burden on the health care system. Be it in helping senior citizens get vaccinated, finding beds for patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms or taking care of those recovering from COVID-19, volunteers are at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic.
Nisha Ann Ashok, another Bengalurean, took to Twitter the other day volunteering to prepare food for COVID-19 patients and help those struggling to keep their house clean and tidy. “Hi, any single people or elderly suffering from post-COVID fatigue struggling to keep their house in order, I will come and clean your house and help you with meal prep. In and around Indiranagar. I can start tomorrow and depending on the severity-one house a day,’’ wrote Ashok.
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Though her tweet went viral, people hesitated to seek help. Ashok posted a follow-up tweet, encouraging people to seek help and tag those in need. “Since nobody has reached out yet, I urge you to not hesitate. It’s important that you focus on building your strength back after recovery. I offered cleaning and household chores because I do them well. If you know someone who might need help, please tag them,’’ she wrote.
These little acts of kindness restore our faith in humanity during these dark times.