"We are helpless... never seen such a situation before... people are panicking..." - the desperate words of an overworked and traumatised Mumbai doctor driven to tears as an avalanche of Covid-positive patients threatens to overrun the medical infrastructure in one of the world's biggest cities
An appeal by Dr Trupti Gilada, an infectious diseases specialist, was widely shared on Tuesday - as the scale of the crisis - the lack of hospital beds, ever-increasing daily new cases, shortage of vaccines and crucial drugs like Remdesivir, and the oxygen crisis - becomes clear.
"I have never seen anything like this... we are so helpless. Like many doctors I am troubled... I don't know what to do... I am heart-broken. Maybe if I tell you what worries me... if I can help you understand, I might be more at peace," Dr Gilada says at the start of the five-minute video.
"We have to manage so many patients... critically ill patients are being treated at home because there are no beds... we are not enjoying this...," she adds, breaking down in tears at this point.
Struggling to contain herself, to wipe away her tears, Dr Gilada then lists three steps every single person - man, woman or child - must take to fight the Covid pandemic.
"First... please stay safe. If you have not yet gotten Covid... or you were infected but have recovered... don't think you are a superhero or that you have some immunity... you are wrong. We are seeing so many young people get infected... and we can't help them," she says.
Still crying Dr Gilada says: "Don't want any of you to be in this situation", as she talks about a 35-year-old Covid patient on ventilator and struggling to stay alive.
"Second... Covid is everywhere! If you leave home, for whatever reason, you HAVE TO WEAR YOUR MASK. It doesn't matter why you are going out... but you have to wear face masks, and make sure your nose is fully covered," she says.
"Third... if you get unwell, if you feel unwell... don't panic and try to get admitted. There is no space at any hospital... and the few beds we have we need for critically ill patients. First isolate yourself, get in touch with your doctor... and let us decide..." Dr Gilada says in her appeal.
The doctor, who underlines that she isn't the only medical professional to feel the stress of the current situation, also stresses on the importance of getting the Covid vaccine.
"If you haven't taken it yet, for whatever reason, please do so! There is a definite improvement... people who get two doses, their infection is not as severe. The vaccine definitely helps," she says.
Dr Gilada isn't the only medical professional to make fervent appeals for help.
Hours earlier, an appeal from a doctor in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar underlined the critical situation in that city.
Doctors from some of the biggest hospitals in Delhi, the national capital, told NDTV on Tuesday that they will run out of oxygen in hours, leaving thousands of Covid patients in agony as they struggle to breathe.
On Tuesday morning, India reported 1,761 deaths in 24 hours - the most in a day since December 2019. There were also over 2.5 lakh new cases - the sixth straight day with over two lakh infections and the fourteenth with over one lakh. The active caseload is now over 20 lakh - a record high.