Isolation facilities, free fuel, masks: Reliance announces slew of initiatives to battle COVID-19
Reliance Industries, one of India's most valuable corporations, has announced a slew of initiatives to battle the COVID-19 spread in the country.
The conglomerate has deployed the collective strength of Reliance Foundation, Reliance Retail, Reliance Jio, Reliance Life Sciences and Reliance Industries to devise an action plan against COVID-19.
Reliance has set up India's first dedicated COVID-19 hospital with 100-bed capacity. This is a joint effort by Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The 100-bedded centre is up at Mumbai's Seven Hills Hospital for patients who test positive for COVID-19. The facility is fully funded by Reliance Foundation and includes a negative pressure room that helps in preventing cross contamination and helps check infection. All beds are equipped with the required infrastructure, bio-medical equipment such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machine and patient monitoring devices.
Additionally, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital will also set up special medical facilities to quarantine travellers from notified countries and suspected cases identified through contact tracing. "This will quickly augment additional facilities for isolation and treatment of infected patients," Reliance said in a statement.
Reliance has also built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra, and has handed it over to the district authorities.
To ramp up testing infrastructure, Reliance Life Sciences is importing additional test kits and consumables for effective testing. RIL is also enhancing its production capacities to develop 100,000 face-masks per day and a large number of personal protective equipment (PPEs), such as suits and garments, for health workers.
Further, Reliance will provide free fuel for all Emergency Service vehicles that will be used to transport COVID-19 patients to and from quarantine and isolation facilities, and quarantined people on the basis of lists provided by government agencies.
In terms of monetary contributions, the Mukesh Ambani-run business empire has announced "an initial support" of Rs 5 crore to Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in India, with more than 90 confirmed cases so far.
"Our doctors and researchers are also working overtime to find a cure for this deadly virus," Reliance said in a statement.
For its own employees, RIL said that it will continue to pay contract and temporary workers, even if work gets halted due to this crisis. "For those earning below Rs 30,000 per month, salaries will be paid twice a month to protect their cashflow and mitigate any overwhelming financial burden," the company added.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)