Indians use social networking sites as their agents to search for small oxygen cylinders, hospital beds and medicines as HIV continues to grow.
After hours of not calling government phone numbers in search of a hospital bed for a critically ill COVID-19 patient, Indian lawyer Jeevika Shiv sent a SOS request on Twitter.
“Patient # covid19 in #Delhi with oxygen 62 needs an emergency hospital bed,” Shiv, one of the 350 members of the COVID-19 volunteer Medical Support Group, said on Twitter last weekend.
Help came quickly. The patient found a bed and soon showed signs of recovery.
“Lastly, it was the online facilitators who worked where people respond with information,” Shiv said.
India reports more than 250,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a day that was extremely high. Hospitals are reimbursing patients and providing air and medical supplies.
In response, people are going through the ongoing communication channels and turning to Twitter to help more people on oxygen equipment, hospital beds and other essentials.
People who are in need and who have the information or needs share the phone numbers of volunteers, retailers with oxygen or drugs and the information that hospitals can take patients through hashtags like #COVIDSOS.
Some users have volunteered to assist with home-cooked meals for COVID-19 patients living in the home and meeting many other needs such as arranging for animal feed.
“Twitter has to do what government recruiting numbers should do,” wrote author Karanbir Singh. “We are alone with our parents.”
– Parminder Singh (@parrysingh) April 19, 2021
Twitter is not as widely used in India as Facebook or WhatsApp but it does prove to be a very important tool for getting help with coronavirus problems, mainly due to its “re-tweet” function that is able to promote information through users ’network networks.
A Google spreadsheet compiled by a dedicated team that incorporates information on hospital beds, oxygen donations, blood plasma and ambulance services in various countries is actively shared on Twitter and is available on many pages.
Umang Galaiya, 25, a developer in Bengaluru, created a website that allows users to choose the city’s name and preferences – whether oxygen or antivirus – and then direct them to Twitter results using their pre-search.
Its website has received over 110,000.
“Any other tweets on my diet have been talking about COVID,” Galaiya said. “I’m glad people are helping with this.”
But for others, help comes too late.
On Monday, Sweta Dash posted a request for help on Twitter to get a bed and a ventilator for a pregnant woman in New Delhi. The message quickly spread through over 100 words and a government official in Delhi was soon referred to a hospital.
But a few hours later, Dash sent another message. “The patient is dead”.