'We feel so helpless:' people in South scared for loved ones as India Covid deaths rises

Families from the South say they feel helpless with their loved ones in India as the country battles its second wave of Covid.

Families from the South say they feel helpless with their loved ones in India as the country battles its second wave of Covid. India's death toll has topped 200,000 with around 115 people dying every hour. 

The health system is on the brink of collapse because of shortages of oxygen ventilators and hospital beds. Experts say the UK variant is driving the current outbreak and neighbouring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka are also now seeing a huge rise in cases. 

The Jolly family from Chandlers Ford, whose parents have tested positive for Covid in Delhi, say they are so anxious they are struggling to eat and sleep.

Watch: report by ITV News Meridian's Kerry Swain, speaking to families in the South

And a woman from Reading says she's been left feeling totally helpless as her sister-in-law battles Covid-19 in a critical condition in India. 

Watch: report by ITV News Meridian's Penny Silvester, speaking to families in the Thames Valley


Both Rajan Jolly's parents have Covid and his wife's mother is also infected. They're constantly calling Delhi from their home in Chanders Ford.

They seem to be recovering but there's terrible news about other relatives.



Patients are suffocating because hospitals are running out of oxygen

The health care system in India is overwhelmed by a devastating surge of new infections, with more than 362,000 in a single day.

Patients are suffocating because hospitals are running out of oxygen. Vital drugs are scarce as they're now ten times the normal cost.

Mr Jolly is the founder of Eastleigh and Southampton Asian Community which has 832 members. He say's, 'I can't eat properly, I can't sleep properly, I can't work properly I'm afraid because all my energy all mind everything is in India right now.'

Raja Jolly, Eastleigh & Southampton Asian Community

Ishaan Jolly




Hospitals are overrun and oxygen supplies falling short with thousands of people unable to get potentially life-saving treatment.

So, one woman from Reading says she has resorted buying oxygen on the black market at fifteen times the asking price, for her sister-in-law who is critically ill there.

Hejab Ghazanfar

In Oxford, students are desperately trying to get information about their loved ones. They say the support network at the university helps.

In a bid to help, today the Oxford University India Society has launched an appeal to raise 10,000 in 10 days. 

Shreyas Rajesh and Anvee Bhutani, students

Overseas students hoping to return to Oxford from India this week may have to stay put. Like Suyesha Dutta. She only has access to essential items.



Overseas students hoping to return to Oxford from India this week may have to stay put

Oxford's MP is calling on the government to send more aid, both money and vaccines.

Layla Moran MP for Oxford West & Abingdon, Lib Dem say's, 'There is only one way to beat this virus and that is to work together across the global community.'