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Fairfax Financial commits $5 m to set up 150-bed Covid-19 centre at Bengaluru Airport

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on May 12, 2021

A woman taking RT-PCR test at Magadi Road in Bengaluru on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.   -  Somashekar GRN

The new facility would be operational from May 18.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Group, to bolster the healthcare infrastructure, which has come under pressure due to the second wave of Covid-19 in Bengaluru, has committed $5 million to set up COV-AID@BLR, a 150-bed, oxygenated Covid-19 treatment centre at Bengaluru Airport (BLR Airport).

The facility would be operational on May 18, and the initiative is funded by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, through its subsidiary Fairfax India Holdings Corporation. The Canada-based group has committed $5 million (₹37 crore) to provide Covid-19 relief in India.

The Fairfax-led initiative, in partnership with GiveIndia, is part-funded by Kempegowda International Airport Foundation (KIAF) – the foundation of Bangalore International Airport Limited. The initiative will be managed by Fairfax Financial Holdings Group's investee companies – KIAF and Quess Corp Limited.

COV-AID@BLR, located near the Cargo Terminals at BLR Airport, would be equipped to treat patients with mild hypoxia (a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level). The facility is designed to be a transit oxygen delivery centre, which would provide much-needed relief and treatment for patients requiring oxygen support until they can get admission to a hospital.

The Centre would be equipped with a pharmacy, pathology unit, nurses’ station, restrooms and a dining area. Suitable drinking water facilities and visitor areas are provided. An ambulance would be on standby 24x7 to cater to emergencies. The necessary arrangements would be made for safe the disposal of waste, including bio-waste.

For the facility, a panel of doctors, including Dr Naresh Shetty, Dr Nandakumar Jairam and Dr Alexander Thomas, would provide technical assistance. The Karnataka Government would provide all staff, including doctors and nursing support.

“We are saddened by the current crisis in India resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fairfax wishes to assist India in traversing this incredibly difficult time and are hopeful that our commitment will provide some relief to India and its health-care system,” said Prem Watsa, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

Published on May 12, 2021

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