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Home / News / India /  Influencers amplify SOS calls on social media as covid cases mount

NEW DELHI : With India witnessing over 2.5 lakh daily covid-19 cases, leading to a massive shortage of hospital beds, medical oxygen and key drugs, a section of social media influencers has been using digital platforms to amplify SOS calls of patients across various cities.

They are listing availability of hospital beds, oxygen supply, plasma donors and even critical drugs such as remdesivir.

YouTuber Sherry Shroff, who has been sharing Delhi and Mumbai related information on Instagram Stories, said in times of such crisis reaching out to people through relevant and timely resources is the least she could do.

“Honestly I think it is just a basic need of the hour. We all have to do what we can. And everyone should just share what they can irrespective what they do or how many followers they have," Shroff said.

Fashion and lifestyle influencer Masoom Minawala, with one million Instagram follower count, has been sharing critical information often personally verified by her through Stories. “My team and I are concentrated on our goal to help as many people using our ability to connect over one million people on my Instagram handle in a situation which is so grave and hopeless. While access to resources is all over the internet but our aim is to provide verified information. Whatever I’m posting online has been verified over calls and WhatsApp. At this point, it is critical to be a responsible internet user," Minawala said.

Chef Saransh Goila, with over 5 lakh Instagram followers, has so far curated over 550 odd meal providers contacts for covid patients across 13 states covering 36 cities on social media using hashtag #CovidMealsforIndia. The idea germinated after he has been inundated with requests about the right kind of meals and restaurants that can possibly provide them for covid patients.

“There was a need for a consolidated spreadsheet that connects patients with home chefs who could create nutritious and wholesome home-cooked meals for patients and self-isolated families. While majority of these providers are from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, we are still looking for more such resources in smaller cities as well," he added.

Having consulted a nutritionist, Goila said he will now start sharing simple guidelines around the kind of meals for home chefs to follow. “Considering most patients can’t taste food, the idea is to eat light nutritious and non-indulgent food," he added.

Many content creators like Dolly Singh, Prajakta Shukre, Kusha Kapila, Aanchal Agrawal and Mallika Dua have been sharing numbers of volunteers, pharmacists, and hospitals where beds and medicines are available.

Ashutosh Harbola, founder of influencer marketing company Buzzoka, noted that a section of influencers has started realising the social responsibility they have towards their followers. Moreover, the second wave has also impacted their own circle of family and friends which has further pushed them to take action.

“There’s also peer pressure in the online world. When one creator starts sharing such stuff others quickly catch on. Many have also realised that in such trying times, pushing irrelevant and insensitive content can also cost them follower count and fan loyalty," he added.

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