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Minnesotans answer the call to fight the coronavirus surge in India


April 30, 2021

Prakash Singh - AFP via Getty Images/TNS

Health workers wearing personal protective equipment attend to COVID-19 patients inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a COVID care center in New Delhi, India, on April 28, 2021.

It's 4 a.m. in southern Minnesota and infectious disease physician Priya Sampathkumar has yet to go to bed.

While others sleep, the Mayo doctor works into the wee hours from her Rochester home, making phone calls in a frantic search for hospital beds half a world away and for much-needed oxygen for patients she's never met.

As the deadly coronavirus overwhelms her native India, Sampathkumar and her colleagues are fielding desperate calls from family, friends and friends of friends back home who have nowhere else to turn for help as COVID-19 cases surge there.


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