In India, coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country—as of 31 July, more than 1.66 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with close to 36,000 deaths.
The increase of COVID-19 cases in Bihar is a particularly worrying development, as this Indian state has a fragile healthcare system that will likely be rapidly overwhelmed. Bihar is one of the poorest states in India and, with around 100 million inhabitants, one of the most populated. More than 45,900 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Bihar alone, which also has the lowest testing rate per capita in the country.
To address the crisis in Bihar, MSF is focused on ensuring everyone has access to treatment, particularly those from marginalised backgrounds. MSF staff are supporting the Nalanda Medical College Hospital by running a temporary hospital in a converted sports hall for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. This facility is also equipped to treat patients with severe symptoms when needed. Our teams are providing mental health support, as well as doing community engagement in order to counter stigma and misinformation about the virus.