Mumbai

Country’s first public-private COVID-19 hospital inaugurated

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday inaugurated the country’s first COVID-19 hospital under public-private partnership by Wipro in Hinjewadi IT park.

Last month, the IT major had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State to repurpose one of its campuses into a 504-bed intermediary care COVID-19 hospital.

“This first public-private project in the country is being dedicated to people. This is an extremely satisfying moment not only for Pune but also the whole of Maharashtra,” Mr. Thackeray said in his inauguration address, delivered over a video conference.

The hospital, spread over 1.8 lakh sq.ft. of the company’s campus, has 18 ventilators and is equipped with an intensive care unit (ICU) and other medical facilities. Wipro will also be providing two ambulances.

“The MoU was signed on May 5 and Wipro handed over the facility to the State government in less than a month and a half. This hospital is a testament to Wipro’s speed, efficacy and quality of work in the social arena as well,” said the CM, while thanking Rishad Premji, chairman, Wipro Limited.

Mr. Thackeray also said that when the State began its fight against COVID-19 two months ago, its health infrastructure was inadequate. “Today Maharashtra has created facilities in a big way. Initially, we had just two laboratories for testing samples. Now, that number is between 80 to 85, and will soon reach 100. There was a big question on the availability of PPE kits, N-95 masks and ventilators. Today, we have 2.3 lakh PPE kits and 4.2 lakh N-95 masks,” he said, adding that the State has 1,484 COVID-19 centres and 2.5 lakh beds.

Mr. Thackeray said the State government was creating jumbo facilities across big cities to combat the pandemic. “While we talk a lot about China’s infrastructure, we [the State government] too have set up India’s first field hospital with 1,000 beds in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in just 15 days. Another facility is coming up nearby. A jumbo centre has started functioning at Goregaon as well and another one is coming up in Navi Mumbai,” he said.

Speaking more about the Wipro hospital, Ayush Prasad, CEO, Pune zilla parishad, told The Hindu that a team of multidisciplinary doctors drawn from medical colleges across the State would be working here.

“We are trying to do something akin to the Kerala model. The focus in this state-of-the-art hospital will be on nursing care and ensuring early treatment of those with co-morbidities. Given the hospital’s sprawling facility, it will be much easier to maintain requisite distancing norms and prevent cross-transmission of the virus,” Mr. Prasad said.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 6:22:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/countrys-first-public-private-covid-19-hospital-inaugurated/article31808540.ece

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