Vedanta on Thursday said its Chairman Anil Agarwal has pledged Rs 150 crore to help India in its fight against deadly COVID-19 second wave. The amount is over and above Rs 201 crore that was spent by Vedanta Group in 2020, it said in a statement.
"Anil Agarwal...has pledged Rs 150 crore to help the country in its fight against the rapidly spreading second wave of COVID-19," Vedanta said.
The company will create additional capacity of 1,000 critical care beds in 10 cities across the country in an effort to support the Centre and states in this challenging times.
The critical care beds will be placed in state-of-the-art ‘field hospitals’ which will be attached to recognised and reputed hospitals. Each facility will have 100 beds in an air-conditioned tent with full electrical support and designed specifically for COVID care.
The critical care facilities will have 90 beds equipped with life saving oxygen support while the remaining will have ventilator support. "I am deeply concerned and anguished to see the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 and loss of precious lives. Vedanta Group has come forward to pledge Rs 150 crore towards our commitment to fight the pandemic and we stand firmly with our people and the government at this difficult time," Agarwal said.
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.
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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.
Additional capacity of critical care beds will be created in states like Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand, Goa and Delhi-NCR. The company is targeting to set up and commission the first set of facilities within two weeks and the balance facilities will be increased within a month. Vedanta has estimated this support for a minimum six-month period.
The company said it is also working closely with the government bodies and local administration to provide medical facilities and hospital care to those in need.
At present, Vedanta is supporting around 700 beds for COVID patients across its business locations, which will be increased to 1,000 in the near term. Meanwhile, Hindustan Zinc, ESL and Sesa Goa iron ore business have stepped in to augment oxygen supplies to COVID patients as part of the Vedanta Cares initiative.