Real estate developers have stepped forward to help local authorities with a slew of measures such as providing medical infrastructure by tying up with local hospitals and funding for oxygen generators to cope with the second wave of COVID-19. A Mumbai-based developer has also gone a step ahead by deciding to absorb the cost of COVID-19 vaccination for its customers.
Shriram Housing Finance Limited (SHFL), an affordable housing finance company, has decided to absorb the cost of COVID-19 vaccination for its customers.
“At Shriram Housing Finance, our employees and customers have always been our priority. While we had earlier announced reimbursement of costs of vaccination for our employees, we have now extended the same for our customers as well. Customers in the affordable housing space are not very well off and for them, even the small sum to be incurred in vaccination through private players can become a big deterrent,” said Ravi Subramanian, MD & CEO, Shriram Housing Finance.
“We would be reaching out to all customers with details of this programme and would work to make this a big success,” he added.
M3M Foundation, a philanthropic arm of M3M Group, has partnered with Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon to establish a COVID-19 care centre with an aim to provide support of 400 beds and a provision of food and medical facilities, including oxygen, wherever required, for patients in Gurugram.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
A mobile medical unit, ambulance service and 24x7 helpline will also be available for shifting any patient from the COVID-19 care centre to the hospital. H
"There has been a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases across the country in the past month. As a result, there has been a shortage of beds and necessary medical equipment. We have initiated the work and 150 beds will be functional by the end of next week at our project OKR in sector 67 in Gurugram to be handed over to the Medanta hospital and with the success of this, an additional 250 beds will be ensured in the month of May. The initiative is in line with our commitment to providing medical assistance to COVID-19 patients and augmenting the government efforts to tackle COVID-19,” said Payal Kanodia, Trustee, M3M Foundation.
The Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (CREDAI) has announced it will provide free vaccination to over 2.5 crore construction workers at the sites of its over 13,000 developer members across 217 Indian cities and towns.
Manoj Gaur, chairman and managing director, Gaursons and vice president- North, CREDAI National, told Moneycontrol that the builders’ group had allocated a budget of Rs 1.5 crore for the labour vaccination programme and COVID-19 related hospital infrastructure such as oxygen cylinders and oxygen generators.
“In principle we have agreed to provide three oxygen generators for Noida and Greater Noida Authorities. We are also planning to give them oxygen cylinders. As for the vaccination programme for the labourers and their families, we are planning to buy the vaccines directly from the manufacturers,” he said.
CREDAI-MCHI has converted a few commercial properties into COVID centres and is cooperating with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). Developer Rustomjee, for example, has set up a 150-bed facility at its Rustomjee International School in the Dahisar suburb of Mumbai. Shree Naman Group has set up a 120-bed facility at the Nehru Science Centre in Worli, while Ajmera Group has set up a 40-bed facility at its Times Square Commercial Complex in Mumbai’s Andheri suburb.
“The second wave of COVID-19 has been extremely severe with an unprecedented number of cases which has taken an excessive load on MMR’s (Mumbai Metropolitan Region's) public health infrastructure. Comprehending the gravity of the situation, leading MCHI developers have joined hands with the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation; now MCGM) and are contributing to the government’s cause and measures to fight the pandemic,” said Deepak Goradia, president, CREDAI-MCHI.
“Till now, we have provided space and infrastructure for over 330 beds while we anticipate more developers to join this movement in the near future,” he said.