THE National Health Service (NHS) has suspended recruitment doctors and nurses from amid concern over healthcare professionals leaving the country when they are most needed during India’s Covid-19 second wave.

The UK government may introduce the pause on arrivals of clinicians from India who have been recruited to join NHS trusts but have not yet travelled, reported The Telegraph.

With 368,147 new cases over the past 24 hours, India‘s total infections stand at 19.93 million, while total fatalities rose by 3,417 to 218,959, according to health ministry data on Monday (3).

Medical experts say real numbers across the country of 1.35 billion may be five to 10 times higher than the official tally.

Anger is growing across the country and critics have accused the Indian government of abdicating responsibility, with prime minister Narendra Modi dubbed #superspreaderModi on social media, the newspaper report added.

According to reports, Boris Johnson’s office is in contact with the Indian government to oversee the arrival of aid including ventilators and oxygen supplies, both of which are dwindling in supply.

UK-based doctors are deploying telemedicine and resources to their colleagues in India to try and help them battle the growing coronavirus crisis there.

Members of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BPIO) are working to help their counterparts get some ‘breathing space, as case numbers grow, The Telegraph report said.

“We are trying to do as much as we can in the form of fundraising to send equipment in the form of oxygen concentrators, creating capacity for ICU beds,” BPIO member Professor Parag Singhal told Sky News. 

“So that’s one stream of work, but we are also trying to offer help to our exhausted colleagues in India – doctors are overstretched, they’re working too hard.”

BPIO’s telemedicine project had so far had 250 volunteers, and they are aiming to get 1,000, Prof Singhal added.