EastEnders actor Himesh Patel has joined the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) call for aid to help communities in India being ravaged by coronavirus.
Since the launch of the appeal, more than £5 million has been raised to provide help to areas being most impacted by the virus in the country.
Patel, who is currently filming in Canada, has filmed an appeal for DEC urging the public to donate to the fund amid the hundreds of thousands of people a day contracting COVID-19 in India.
In the video, Patel says: “Like so many people both at home in the UK and around the world, I have been deeply saddened by the scenes from India of people being unable to get the care they so desperately need as they battle coronavirus.
“Family and friends with relatives in the country have been telling me that the reality is as bad as, if not worse than, what we have seen on our screens.
“But what has also struck me is the outpouring of solidarity, not just from the British Indian community, but from people across the UK as the full horror unfolds of what this pandemic looks like when it spirals out of control and a health system is unable to cope.
“So many have suffered in the UK and yet still have so much to give, rallying to help others as they face their darkest hours.
“That’s why I’ve joined with the Disasters Emergency Committee to appeal for donations so that the DEC’s member charities, including the British Red Cross, CARE International and Save the Children, can continue to rapidly scale up their efforts delivering medical supplies, treatment facilities and other urgently needed aid to India’s most vulnerable communities.”
India is currently experiencing record numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths, with more than 4,000 people alone dying with the virus on Wednesday.
More than 250,000 people in India have died with COVID-19 so far.
DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “We are enormously grateful for the £5 million so generously donated by the UK public, companies and foundations in just two weeks, which means that DEC charities can reach people desperately seeking help in India.
“However, we know this disaster is by no means over – the poorest and most marginalised communities have been hit the hardest, with potentially catastrophic consequences in the weeks ahead.
“I am therefore hugely thankful for Himesh’s support in helping us continue to highlight the urgency of the situation in India. Please continue to give as generously as you can.”