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India's marginalised older people face a devastating coronavirus surge

Published on 28 April 2021 04:24 PM

Coronavirus Appeal

Older people in the poorest parts of the world affected by conflict or living in refugee camps need help urgently to survive the silent threat of COVID-19.

Photo: Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A second wave of coronavirus is devastating India as infection rates spiral out of control. The country’s health system is on the brink of collapse, with many hospitals overrun and oxygen supplies falling short of demand.

Older people living in unsanitary conditions without adequate healthcare and support live in fear of catching the deadly virus. Many have already suffered so much at the hands of the disease, with the loss of livelihoods and losing loved ones. They are left isolated without access to food and other essentials.

20.2 million

India has officially recorded 20.2 million COVID-19 infections (as of 04/05/20210)


There have been more than 222,408 deaths from COVID-19 in the country (as of 04/05/2021)

The disease has further exacerbated an already dire situation, with the poorest and most marginalised families being hit the hardest.

Age International has a long history of working with marginalised older people in India, and together with our local partners, HelpAge India and Gravis, we have been playing a critical role in supporting older people during the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and providing relief to the most vulnerable families.

As part of our relief efforts we have been:

  • Conducting health check-up drives within communities, monitoring older people’s temperature, oxygen saturation level, hypertension and diabetes
  • Supporting primary health care services through mobile health clinics, referring those patients who need further medical attention to a hospital
  • Supporting older people to reach vaccination centres
  • Raising community awareness through posters and guides in accessible formats and local dialects

With the impact of the second wave, more needs to be done to help protect older people.

Please, help us do more to support older people, who are living in a critical life or death situation. With no one else to turn to, they are struggling and need urgent assistance - and with your support we can provide it.

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Last updated: May 04 2021

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