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MSF resumes activities in response to India’s COVID-19 second wave

Delhi, 23 April - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders) restarts emergency response amid a surging second wave of COVID-19 in Mumbai in Maharashtra state. The city is very densely populated and the poor and dilapidated hygiene conditions are a triple trigger for the virus to breed, infect and spread rapidly.

Daily new infections across the country have reached a peak of over 200,000 in a single day, with a whopping 115.736 new cases reported in Maharashtra state on a single day on 16 April.

“The situation is very worrying,” says Dilip Bhaskaran, C-19 Coordinator for MSF in Mumbai. “This is the largest upsurge since the pandemic started. “MSF stands ready to further pace up its services in support of the health facilities that are currently completely overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, our teams are actively identifying cases, conducting screening and appropriate triage for infection prevention and control for TB/DR-TB patients at Shatabdi hospital and the MSF independent clinic. Patients coinfected with COVID-19 and tuberculosis are being referred for inpatient management and treatment to Sewri hospital.

Non-TB identified patients with COVID-19 that need admission are referred to Dedicated COVID-19 Health Centre (DCHC) facilities.

MSF is further providing prevention kits, counseling and phone follow-up to high risk patients, including TB/DR-TB, Diabetes melitus patients and the elderly. To ensure continuity of care, MSF continues to support four health centers in MEW.

As of Saturday, April 17, MSF started shielding, digital health promotion, water and sanitation activities in the M-East Ward (MEW) of Mumbai. Activities will be further extended to five more health facilities.

MSF is preparing to support two units within a Jumbo hospital in Mumbai. The divisions will include two set of tents with about 1000 intensive care unit bed capacity in each. Five additional medical doctors and five nurses have been recruited to strengthen the response.

MSF will continue to provide medical and technical support with oxygen supplies and therapy.

Ethiopia: Tigray Crisis

People have been left without healthcare and tens of thousands have been displaced across Ethiopia and Sudan, following fighting that broke out in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, in November 2020.

MSF teams are working on both sides of the border, providing assistance to people in refugees camps in Sudan, and to the displaced and host communities within Tigray in Ethiopia.

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