Meghan and Harry to open relief centre in India amid coronavirus surge

New Delhi

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced that they will be building a relief centre in Mumbai, India, in collaboration with the World Central Kitchen, as the country battles a deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The couple, who celebrated their wedding anniversary on Wednesday, said in a statement: “Right now, COVID-19 cases are spiking across the entire country of India.

On Tuesday, India’s total virus cases exceeded 25 million, with 260,000 new cases and 4,329 deaths reported in the past 24 hours.”

“Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost, millions have been infected, and there is widespread concern that the crisis is even worse than reported,” the statement read.

The news was announced on the official Instagram page of Archwell Foundation, a charity started by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The post said: “As part of our ongoing philanthropic partnership, Archewell Foundation and World Central Kitchen are announcing plans today to build our next Community Relief Centre in India, which is facing a devastating second wave of COVID-19.”

The Mumbai location will be the third in a series of four community relief centres that the couple’s organisations have committed to develop “in regions of the world disproportionately affected by natural disaster.”

Construction for their first two relief centres in the Commonwealth of Dominica and Puerto Rico is already underway.

“The purpose of these centres is to provide relief and resilience (as well as healing and strength) for the communities in which they’re based,” the post read.

“During future crises, these centres can be quickly activated as emergency response kitchens—or vaccination sites—and through calmer times they can serve as food distribution hubs, schools, clinics, or community gathering spaces for families,” the statement read.

Apart from this initiative, Meghan is a supporter of the Myna Mahila foundation based in Mumbai which focuses on women’s health and employment opportunities in India.

India has reported 2,91,331 Covid-19 deaths so far, with 30,27,925 active cases. However, experts say both infections and deaths are being hugely underreported.—AP