Corporates join hands in fight against Covid-19, make quarantine centers

Integrated healthcare major Apollo Hospitals on Monday said it was launching an initiative called ‘Project Stay I’ to create quarantine and isolation facilities for coronavirus patients.
Quarantine facilities are rapidly becoming important as Covid-19 cases steadily mount in India. The issue acquires significance given the acute shortage of beds and rooms to handle confirmed and suspect Covid-19 patients.

Integrated healthcare major Apollo Hospitals on Monday said it was launching an initiative called ‘Project Stay I’ to create quarantine and isolation facilities for coronavirus patients.

Part of its ‘Project Kavach’ programme launched on Thursday, the initiative has been supported by a number of corporate, financial and hospitality majors, making it the first of its kind in the country.

Under the initiative, Oyo, Lemon Tree and Ginger Hotels will provide 500 rooms in the first phase of the programme involving five cities for patients to stay in isolation.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Deutsche Bank and State Bank of India will take care of the cost of isolation, including cost of lodging, medical care and WIFI, while Zomato will provide food at these isolation rooms. Cities include Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, with Kolkata to be added next week.

Apollo Hospitals and Biocon will provide medical and testing facilities at these rooms, with patients charged only for medicines they take during their stay.

“Project Stay I is an innovative and scalable programme that uses existing infrastructure to contain the spread of the virus. We have committed to adding up to 5,000 rooms across the country and will do so by adding 50-100 rooms every week depending on the demand in each city,” said Sangita Reddy, joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals Group.

Those suspected of having Covid-19 symptoms can check into these hotels, book their stays, share their medical details and escalate quickly in case they need further attention, Reddy said. Their vital health parameters will be monitored with the help of telemedicine and tech-based solutions that will feed the data into a central server, managed by the hospital, she said.

While Oyo, Lemon Tree and Ginger are charging between Rs 1,200 and Rs 3,000 per person for their stay at these rooms, more partners are expected to join the programme in the future as Apollo Hospitals looks to subsidise it further for the poor.
Last week, Tata Trusts, the philanthropic arm of the Tata group, and Tata Sons, the group’s holding company, committed Rs 1,500 crore to fight the Covid-19 crisis.

The donation was the biggest sum committed by a corporate and its philanthropic arm towards the pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the world.

Others, including Reliance Foundation, Mahindra Group, Bajaj Group, ITC and HUL, are also lending support in the battle against the pandemic, committing money, stepping up public awareness programmes and chipping in with subsidised hygiene and healthcare products.

On Monday, Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director, HUL, said, “Isolation facilities are extremely important to curb the spread of the virus. We are delighted to collaborate with organisations like Apollo Hospitals to help create isolation facilities.

We believe this will help in augmenting the quarantine system already put in place by the government.”

L&T, RIL, TVS Motor pitch in with funds 

Amritha Pillay & PTI

The PM-CARES Fund, set up for Covid-19 relief efforts, saw more funds pouring in on Monday with conglomerates like Reliance Industries (RIL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) making fresh announcements. RIL will donate Rs 500 crore, while L&T has committed Rs 150 crore to the fund. In addition, L&T will set aside a monthly outlay of Rs 500 crore for their contract labour. RIL’s commitment is exclusive of another Rs 5 crore to state funds in Gujarat and Maharashtra. TVS Motor and its arms, also commited Rs 25 crore to the fund.

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