Former international cricketer Yuvraj Singh urges start-up, innovators and research institutions to join his mission to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by providing innovative, affordable and scalable healthcare solutions. Singh through his venture YouWeCan has launched a mission to set up 1,000 beds for critical care of COVID-19 patients across the country in government and army hospitals.
The cricketer-turned-venture capitalist is working to create a forum to consolidate efforts made by various entities to tackle challenges posed by the pandemic. "I want to share it for all start-ups, entrepreneurs and scientists, whoever are innovating and leading research institutions. I just want all of them to join our mission by bringing new technology solutions, quicker and more affordable healthcare solutions for Indians," Singh told PTI.
YouWeCan has already started rolling out beds in Delhi-NCR, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka and MP. "You start to feel like you are in a war and soldiers are getting injured and the injured do not get hospital beds for the treatment.
We decided that we just can't sit at home. It was just not unacceptable to sit and do nothing. That's when we decided to set up 'mission1000bed'. Everybody deserves to get treated and get hospital care," Singh said. YouWeCan and Singh's family have contributed around Rs 2 crore initially for COVID-19 to handle challenges and have now started crowdsourcing for the 'mission1000bed'.
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.
"One thousand beds is minimum that I can do. I want to go to 2,000-5,000 but we decided to stick to what we can achieve initially. "The government and army hospitals have manpower. We are providing them with additional infrastructure. It is difficult to generate manpower at a short notice," Singh said.
According to YouWeCan's estimate, a 1,000-bed hospital would have cost around Rs 1 crore with greenfield (new) infrastructure. Hence, the venture opted for adding additional beds to the existing facilities which will cost around Rs 24 crore. "Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the beds will be later used for cancer patient treatment," Singh said.
YouWeCan will start organising conferences in about a week to connect with contributors and create a forum to work on COVID-19 challenges, he said. "Our team is working on the ground round-the-clock to connect with people. This is the reason we have been able to scale up.