Wakefield charity launches appeal to raise half a million pounds for India Covid crisis


India's army has opened up its hospitals as the country sets another record of new Covid-19 infections in a day - with 386,452 new cases in the last 24 hours.

The country has had a total of 18.7 million confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

In Yorkshire, people across the region are trying to do their bit to help. Inshaal Ahmad is one around 70,000 members of the Indian community here.

As an international student at Bradford University he waits nervously to hear from his family in New Delhi every day.

His sister, Sana, works in a hospital in the capital: ''It's not easy you know, you also have a family back home.

"I'm a healthcare worker, whenever I get up in the morning and see my husbands face, all I think is tomorrow will I be able to see him or not.

"It's tense.''

Inshaal added: "Having this thought in mind that my family's there is living hell. If you see the news for 15 minutes I get goosebumps, I can't sleep.

"It's having a huge impact on my mental health because I know they're there."

The country has a Covid death toll of 208,330, but experts believe the numbers are an undercount.

India has surpassed the bleak milestone of 200,000 recorded Covid-19 deaths, but there are fears the figure could be much higher. Credit: ITV News

As hospitals run out of beds, patients with severe Covid are left to fend for themselves at home or be treated at hospital car parks and in the streets. Distraught people are flooding social media with pleas for oxygen and medicines.

Many deaths in rural areas are also going unregistered. It's an emergency which is why a Wakefield-based charity is desperately trying to raise half a million pounds to help.

Penny Appeal is working round the clock to try and raise money for beds, ambulances and oxygen.

"We've already earmarked funds to go out to India, we've got teams on the ground now", said Adeem Younis, charity founder.

He says India has helped us with vaccine supplies. And as smoke rises above mass funerals, he believes it's time we helped them.