Port Macquarie-Hastings residents with family in India say they feel powerless to help relatives affected by the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
Some have been forced to watch funerals of family members by phone.
Satnam Singh, Amandeep Kaur and Lakhvir Singh Saini say they are at breaking point as the coronavirus crisis escalates in India and footage of mass cremation sites are shown in the news.
There has been almost 18 million (17,997,267) confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 201,187 deaths from January 3 to April 28 in India this year, according to the World Health Organization.
We are suffering just from the stress, we are getting stressed from just watching the news of what is happening in India. We are stuck, we can't go or do anything except talk over the phone as people pass away.Lakhvir Singh Saini
Port Macquarie restaurant owner Lakhvir Singh Saini, who moved to the region in 1990, said the Indian government needs to improve its response to the crisis.
"My mum and dad live here but all the relatives are in India. We are being told it's really, really bad over there," he said.
"My dad and mum are really upset, dad especially because his older brother passed away and his younger brother went there but has been stuck there for a whole year.
"We are suffering just from the stress, we are getting stressed from just watching the news of what is happening in India. We are stuck, we can't go or do anything except talk over the phone as people pass away.
"We are very lucky to be here in Australia but somehow in India it is getting worse. It's worse than four or five months ago because now there are no beds in hospital, not enough doctors and a queue to get oxygen.
"We all really appreciated what cricketers, the Australian and other governments are doing to help, we are thankful for that. But inside India my thoughts are that the government are not doing enough or nothing at all for their own people."
Direct passenger flights between Australia and India have been suspended until May 15 and medical supplies such as ventilators, PPE and oxygen supplies have been sent by the Australian government.
Port Macquarie chef Satnam Singh, who has lived on the Mid North Coast for 13 years, said he is deeply concerned about his parents living in the northern state of Punjab.
"I lost my grandmother just last month and my father has been in the hospital for the last five days," he said.
"I talk to my father while he is in hospital through video calls on Whatsapp but it's hard because we are not there in person and I know they are running out of oxygen."
Port Macquarie restaurant manager Amandeep Kaur watched her father's funeral through videocall after he passed away from coronavirus in India.
"It is a very hard time for families. My father was the main responsible person for the family and he did everything, but suddenly without him it's very, very hard," Mrs Kaur said.
"The virus is spreading in India and affecting everyone. There are sick patients left on the road outside the hospital, laying in cars waiting for help.
"We can see bodies in the streets because people are scared to pick up the body of someone who has died from COVID to take them for funeral.
"India has mostly has joined families of five or six people, when people cannot work due to closures or COVID-19 there is no money available and many people are dying from hunger. There is no work and people cannot feed their children."
There are more than 9,000 Australians and thousands of permanent residents stranded in India. More than 650 are registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as "vulnerable".
Mr Singh Saini said family members had told him they were cautious about being vaccinated in India.
"When we talk to relatives about the vaccinations in India, they say there are people getting sick and dying from that," he said.
"People are scared to get the vaccine because the one they are getting is different to other countries, and that particular one was banned in Japan.
"It's hard to say what will happen in the long run with India the way it is. It doesn't matter how much help is given by other countries, until their own government is doing the right thing it will be very hard."
What else is making news?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: