“India has just seen a surge of [COVID-19] cases beyond anyone’s imagination," says Gautam Harigovind, medical activity manager for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Mumbai, where the team has scaled up its response to the pandemic's second wave. COVID-19 has overwhelmed the city's health care system and its frontline workers.
A 2,000-bed COVID treatment center where MSF is providing support has not been able to accommodate the high number of people who need care. Health staff are exhausted but continue to work in very difficult conditions. Harigovind urges people everywhere to see what's happening in India as a warning. "Please follow social distancing and please wear a mask," he says. MSF is particularly focused on caring for vulnerable people at greater risk due to the coronavirus, including those with chronic health conditions and HIV.