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Indian-American journalist among victims of coronavirus in US

New York and New Jersey, the two states that have the highest concentration of Indian-Americans in the US, are also the worst hit by COVID-19 in the country.

By: PTI | Washington | Published: April 7, 2020 11:00:33 pm
The US at present has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world at 364,723.

Scores of Indian-Americans have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the US and several of them, including a former journalist of an Indian news agency, have died, according to multiple news reports from community organisations and diaspora leaders.

While there is no official or unofficial count of Indian-Americans infected with the coronavirus in the country, information available on various private social media groups indicate that a significant number of them are in New York and New Jersey.

The two states, which have the highest concentration of Indian-Americans in the US, are also the worst hit by the coronavirus in the country.

By Monday, over 170,000 people had tested positive in these two states and fatalities had crossed 5,700.

Veteran Indian-American journalist Brahm Kuchibhotla, who was a former contributor to United News of India news agency, breathed his last at a New York hospital on Monday night.

“Really shocking that this is happening to the community. Cannot believe that this is happening to us and the people we know,” said Indian American Rajendra Dichpally.

Community leaders said that every day they have been receiving reports of their near and dear ones and others testing positive. Some of them, including a former president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Several community leaders both in the New York metropolitan area and Greater Washington Area of Maryland and Virginia have tested positive.

While the majority of them are in self-quarantine in their homes, many of them have been admitted to hospitals.

Sewa International, which has been running a help-line in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, said that they have been receiving several calls seeking help.

Indian-Americans have raised USD 204,000 in support of Houston-based IT professional Rohan Bavadekar, who is battling for life on ventilator support. His wife and three children have also tested positive.

A day earlier, Federation of Kerala Associations in North America said that it has lost four of its community members due to the coronavirus.

In Silicon Valley, an Indian American IT engineer has been tested positive along with his immediate family members.

Dr Mukul S Chandra, medical director of the Cardiac Preventive Care and Research at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, is on ventilator fighting COVID-19.

Community members in an appeal are seeking a plasma donor who tested positive for COVID-19 and then made a full recovery.

According to estimates by the Johns Hopkins University, there are over 1.34 million confirmed coronavirus cases across the world and over 75,000 people have died of it.

The US has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world at 364,723, followed by Spain (136,675), Italy (132,547) and Germany (102,453). More than 10,000 people have died in the US because of COVID-19.

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