March 23, 2020
Sikh groups in New Zealand have joined hands to help people who are affected due to coronavirus. These groups are led by Sikh Aware NZ along with Whangarei Sikh Society and Deg Tegh Fateh Sikh Society Christchurch.
Gurpreet Singh, from Napier, was approached by the society to volunteer his services for those immuno-compromised, in self-isolation or unable to shop for themselves.
People just need to order their groceries by noon from their local supermarket and pick-up and delivery will be arranged by the members.
“The Sikh Aware society got in touch with and asked me if I could help. I am available to help however I can, to who ever needs it,” Singh said.
“I can pick up food and deliver it, I can pick up prescriptions if required. We are not going to come in contact with people. We leave it outside their homes.
“There will be no person-to-person contact made.”
Singh works as a teacher aide for children with “special autistic needs”, but is available to help out in the afternoon or evening.
“I understand the nature of the situation, and the need for people to take all precautionary measures,” he said.
“Back in India I was a doctor with a background in psychiatry. In these times I urge people to stay calm, and stay positive.”
There are currently 102 cases of coronavirus in New Zealand, including one in Hawke’s Bay.
NZ shifted to Alert Level 3 on Monday and expected to move to Level 4 within 48 hours (by midnight Wednesday).
This means everyone needs to prepare for self-isolation over the next 48 hours.
Schools and all educational facilities were expected to close on Tuesday, except for the children of essential workers such as health staff.
They will be fully closed from midnight Wednesday, along with businesses except essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, and lifeline utilities. Travel is severely restricted and only for essential services.
Alert Level 4 is expected to continue for four weeks at this stage.