Vedanta BALCO’s 100-bed Covid field hospital at Raipur operationalised

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated Vedanta BALCOs Covid Field Hospital in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday along with Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Resources, Abhijit Pati, CEO and Director, Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO), and other dignitaries.

BALCO, Vedanta Group’s Chhattisgarh-based subsidiary, has marshalled all the resources to establish this Covid hospital within the perimeter of its landmark Balco Medical Centre (cancer hospital), in the shortest possible time.

The air-conditioned field hospital, which has 90 beds equipped with oxygen support and 10 with ventilator support, will be managed by the Balco Medical Centre. An expert team of doctors, specialists, and medical/paramedic staff will continuously man the facility.

Appreciating Vedanta’s endeavours and support to the state government, Baghel said, “I am thankful to Anil Agarwal and the Vedanta Group for swiftly setting up and operationalising this state-of-the-art field hospital in Raipur. This initiative reflects the Anil Agarwal Foundation’s resolve to serve the community. As state government, we are doing everything possible to help the people, and support from corporates like Vedanta will definitely strengthen our efforts to provide intensive care and timely treatment to the critical patients.

“The Vedanta Cares Field Hospital will benefit our urban as well as rural populace. The people and the state of Chhattisgarh are grateful for their efforts. With our continuous efforts in the state, Covid-19 has been controlled to a great extent, but I take this opportunity to reiterate that we must continue to exercise extreme caution and follow all the necessary protocols to keep ourselves, our friends and families safe.”

Speaking about Vedanta Group’s commitment to bolster the Central and state governments’ efforts in battling the pandemic, Agarwal said, “The pandemic has disrupted millions of lives and livelihoods across the country, and I am deeply anguished to see the plight of our citizens. The Vedanta Group stands in solidarity with the nation and has pledged its support to the central and state governments in providing proper care to those affected by the disease.

“Our state-of-the-art Covid Field Hospital in Chhattisgarh will aid the state government’s efforts to provide much-needed care to the critically ailing patients. Parallelly, we will continue to work with the state and support the local district administrations to keep the communities safe as we strive to overcome the multiple waves of the pandemic.”

Abhijit Pati, CEO and Director, BALCO, said, “We have been working closely with the Chhattisgarh state government and Korba district administration since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the region. The health and wellbeing of our communities have always been our foremost priority, and we have ramped up all measures to keep them safe.

“We have augmented our Covid care facilities, accelerated vaccination drive and intensified community awareness on Covid appropriate behaviour, at and beyond our operations. The field hospital is one of the many initiatives taken by the Vedanta Group to ensure that the citizens have access to advanced medical treatment for Covid. This facility will definitely strengthen the efforts of the state government in combating Covid-19.”

Venkata Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Balco Medical Centre, said, “There are many things we must do to fight the pandemic, but a big part of this effort must be towards ramping up the healthcare facilities available in our country.

“This Covid Field Hospital will bolster our efforts and better equip us to serve the people of Chhattisgarh. The Balco Medical Centre is also grateful to Chairman Anil Agarwal for entrusting us with the operation of this state-of-the-art facility.”

The Vedanta Cares Field Hospital project is an initiative of Anil Agarwal Foundation. Apart from Delhi-NCR, field hospitals are being set up in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.

Besides setting up the 10 ‘field hospitals’ with 1,000 beds for Covid patients across India, Vedanta is also working on a war footing to help upgrade the medical infrastructure in the country to fight the second wave of the pandemic.

Towards this, and for providing need-based support to the Central and state governments and local communities, Vedanta has pledged Rs 150 crore to help the country in its fight against the rapidly spreading second wave of Covid-19.

This is over and above the Rs 201 crore that was spent by the Vedanta group last year. This included a contribution to Covid Relief Fund and Vedanta’s commitment of catering to three specific areas –livelihood of daily wage workers across the nation, preventive health care and support to all its employees and contract partners across its plant locations.