Vedanta pledges ₹150 cr. to fight virus

The group will create 1,000 more critical-care beds in 10 cities

Vedanta, India’s leading producer of metals and oil and gas, has pledged ₹150 crore to help the country in its fight against the second wave of COVID-19. This is in addition to ₹201 crore spent by the group last year.

In a statement, Anil Agarwal, chairman, Vedanta, said his group would create 1,000 more critical-care beds in 10 cities. They would be placed in state-of-the-art field hospitals to be attached to recognised and reputed hospitals. Each field hospital would have 100 beds in an air-conditioned tent. The critical-care facilities would have 90 beds equipped with oxygen support, while the rest would have ventilator support.

“We believe that this additional infrastructure to be set up immediately will bring much-needed relief to those affected by this deadly virus. Vedanta will also provide essential medical equipment to … doctors and healthcare workers…,” Mr. Agarwal said. The critical-care beds would be provided in Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Goa, Karnataka and the Delhi-National Capital Region.

The company has planned to commission the first set of facilities within 14 days and the rest in 30 days. Vedanta will provide this support for a minimum of six months.

Mr. Agarwal said Vedanta was now supporting around 700 beds for COVID-19 patients, and the number would be increased to 1,000 in the near future. The group’s Hindustan Zinc was supplying 5 tonnes of oxygen a day for medical treatment and was in the process of increasing the quantum by another 2-3 tonnes.

Sesa Goa Iron Ore, a group company, was supplying 3 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen daily to the Goa government and hospitals, while ESL, the group’s steel-maker, had registered its plant near Bokaro for supply of 10 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen a day.

The company has rolled out a tele-medicine programme under its flagship corporate social responsibility project, Nand Ghar, in Rajasthan, Odhisha, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. It has also opened a 24/7 helpline with Apollo Hospitals to provide medical assistance to all employees and their families, Mr. Agarwal said.

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