New Delhi: The family of the first known Indian national afflicted with the coronavirus and battling for life has reached out to India for financial help.

Unable to fund 1 crore needed for Preeti Maheshwari’s treatment in China, her brother Manish Thapa, an employee at Amazon, Bengaluru has reached out to the Indian embassy in Beijing for financial help. He has also got in touch with a healthcare crowd funding platform in India to arrange for her hospital expenses.

Maheshwari, a primary art school teacher at the International School of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, is suffering from coronavirus pneumonia, type 1 respiratory failure, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and septic shock. She is undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit at Shekou Hospital in Shenzhen, China, and is on external respiratory support, ventilators, dialysis and blood purification process.

“The cost of the treatment, since the day Preeti was admitted - 11th January 2020 - is increasing day by day. Currently the treatment is costing 10 lakh Chinese Yuan which is Rs. 1 crore in Indian currency. Aware of the mounting treatment expenses, I have taken to healthcare crowd funding platform ImpactGuru.com. Preeti is critically ill and treatment expenses were beyond family’s capacity," Thapa told Mint.

ImpactGuru raised Rs. 15.27 lakhs from 410 donors in four days.

“There are early signs of improvement in Preeti’s health. Preeti’s heart rate is returning to normal and MRI has come normal. She still continues to be on critical life support and it’s a long road to recovery," Thapa said.

The family is also considering shifting her to India for further treatment if needed.

“She needs to recover before we plan anything worth regarding shifting her to India. We have also communicated to Indian government and are hoping that we may receive help," Thapa said.

The embassy on Thursday started two hotlines +8618612083629 and +8618612083617 for Indians who want to get in touch with their relatives in China.

“Embassy of India has been receiving queries from Indians in Hubei province as well as their relatives in India in connection with the evolving situation of the corona virus infection in China. In this regard Embassy of India is in touch with relevant Chinese authorities in Beijing and Wuhan as well as Indians in Hubei Province, especially in Wuhan," the embassy said in a statement.

“We are closely monitoring the evolving situation in China, including advisories issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in this connection. The relevant Chinese authorities have assured all assistance to residents of Wuhan, including food supply. At present, it is reported that supermarkets (particularly those that are government run) and e-commerce services, including food delivery continue to remain operational in Wuhan," it said.

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