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Local Church Leaders in India Face ‘Sleepless Nights’ as They Respond to COVID-19 Surge

Patients who contracted the coronavirus lie in beds while connected to oxygen supplies inside the emergency ward of a Covid-19 hospital on May 03, 2021 in New Delhi, India. India recorded more than 360,000 coronavirus cases in a day for the 12th day in a row as the total number of those infected according to Health Ministry data neared 20 million. Photo by Rebecca Conway, courtesy of Getty Images.All rights reserved.

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By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News

As the second wave of COVID-19 cases continues to sweep across India, local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are trying to address “a wide range of needs,” said Elder Robert K. William, an Area Seventy in the nation.

“There are no beds available,” he wrote in an email to the Church News. “The medical system is almost jammed with too many to take care.”

Local Church leaders, amid “having sleepless nights,” are trying their best to arrange hospital beds or ICU care for the members, said Elder William. “It is very difficult to get beds at this point of time.”

As of May 7 — just weeks after record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases in a single day — India has reported 21.8 million coronavirus cases and 238,000 deaths.

The World Health Organization said India is dealing with multiple variants to the coronavirus, which has accelerated the recent COVID-19 outbreak, according to The Washington Post. An estimated 120 people are dying each hour in the nation, according to CBS News.

The Church is trying to work with individual stakes and assisting hospitals as they attempt to expand facilities to accommodate more patients. “There is a wide range of needs that we are trying to address with our resources,” said Elder William.

The overloaded medical infrastructure makes caring for those who are sick very difficult, he said, acknowledging that there is suffering across the globe. “Our prayers are there for all the members across the world,” he said.

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