Singapore's trade bodies raising funds to support India in combating COVID-19
Singapore's two leading trade organisations have launched a new relief fund to support India in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as the country is battling an unprecedented second wave of the deadly contagion.
The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), and the Little India Shopkeepers Association (LISHA) are jointly coordinating efforts by the community to support India.
SICCI has opened an 'INDIA COVID RELIEF FUND' account with DBS Bank, with its chairman Dr T Chandroo making a clarion call on the community at large for contribution.
Dr Chandroo said: "We want to stand side by side with India as this is a crisis of historic proportions and would require our immediate and urgent assistance. I am making a clarion call to the Singapore community at large to support this initiative undertaken by SICCI and LISHA."
The two trade bodies, in a joint statement issued on Monday night, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the people of India, leading to multiple crises across the country.
Representational Image (Credits: Unsplash)
In the light of these challenges, Singapore SICCI and LISHA are jointly raising monetary support to help India manage the immense pressure on its health services, the statement said.
Both SICCI and LISHA are taking the lead in coordinating community efforts to provide support to India.
SICCI has also reached out to the partners of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through the High Commission of India in Singapore to gather information on their most immediate and most urgent priorities.
"We have also received requests from YWAM (Youth with a Mission), HHL Lifecare, Gilead Pharma, and several other organisations which are mobilising support on the ground to help India overcome the crisis," Dr Chandroo said.
SICCI's and LISHA's initial appeal is focused on emergency response to help protect the most vulnerable from direct impact due to the rapid spread of the contagion, and to scale up life-saving protection and assistance in priority states and hospitals in India.
SICCI, which has some 500 corporate members with international networks, and LISHA, representing almost all small businesses in Singapore's Little India shopping precinct, hope to harness the support of the community to provide the necessary assistance that India requires.
As of now, Indian hospitals urgently need ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices, the two associations said.
Having set up the relief fund account, SICCI and LISHA are the central coordinating and focal point in Singapore for the mobilisation of resources required by India.
A virtual command centre has been organised for the community to get in touch with SICCI Cares at Mobile/WhatsApp: 96541346, 62222855 (Ms Gowri or Ms Pamela).
Donations will be updated on the Telegram Channel and the website, the statement added.
India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic, with more than 300,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states reeling under the shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry said that India's total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,76,36,307 with 3,23,144 people testing positive in a day, while the national recovery rate has further dropped to 82.54 percent.
The death toll increased to 1,97,894 with 2,771 daily new fatalities, it said.