Healthcare facilities provided to 3 states to help fight potential 3rd COVID wave: IBM

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    Technology firm IBM India has provided healthcare facilities like pediatric ICU beds and oxygen concentrators to Karnataka, Haryana and Uttarakhand which would help them tackle a potential third wave of COVID-19, according to senior company official.

    The healthcare facilities have been provided as part of IBM India’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in partnership with the Nasscom Foundation.

    Speaking to PTI, IBM India and South Asia Head-CSR Manoj Balachandran said, “While a lot of relief like oxygen cylinders was coming in to address the immediate short term need, we decided to work on mid to long term requirements with the state governments.”

    In Karnataka, pediatric ICU beds were provided thinking that children could be at potential risk if there is a third wave as they are not vaccinated, he said.

    “All that we are doing now is obviously trying to be prepared for the third wave, hoping against hope that the third wave is not going to be as severe as the earlier one,” he said.

    Right now, the focus has been on these three states. But things might change if a third wave hits, as the company will then re-evaluate and look at other states for extending relief, he added.

    According to IBM, 45 pediatric ICU beds have been provided to CV Raman General Hospital and Sevashram Hospital in Bengaluru.

    The Nasscom Foundation has partnered with Rashtrotthana Parishad to get these high-end equipment installed.

    In Uttarakhand, the company has deployed 122 oxygen concentrators and 125 flow meters in Cantonment General Hospital in Dehradun.

    In Haryana, it has deployed an oxygen generation plant of 200 LPM (litre per minute) capacity at Faridabad District Hospital and Community Health Centre.

    Besides, the company has provided nine ICU beds, four regular hospital beds, five high-flow nasal canula and 191 flow meters to the Faridabad District Hospital and Community Health Centre, he added.

    “These current efforts should help in the third wave also,” Balachandran said, adding that reasonable capacity has been created in some of these hospitals to handle the likely third wave.

    However, the company is keeping its eyes and ears open to meet the possible demand that may come from hospitals if a third wave hits, he added.

    Nasscom Foundation CEO Nidhi Bhasin said, “The whole tech industry responded very fast. It was very overwhelming the way everybody responded, including IBM, during the second wave of the pandemic.”

    The focus was on building infrastructure and creating awareness about vaccination. Companies like IBM should come forward and support these kinds of initiatives, she added.

    Apart from this initiative being implemented along with Nasscom Foundation, Balachandran said IBM India is engaged in implementing CSR works in areas like education.

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