A COVID-19 treatment facility with 150 oxygenated beds was inaugurated at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday, May 19. The COV-AID@BLR facility, as it is called, is located near the cargo terminals at the airport. It will treat asymptomatic COVID-19 patients as well as those with mild hypoxia (inadequate absorption of oxygen). The facility can be used by employees of the airport network as well as the public. While treatment will be free, the cost of medications, tests and self-arranged ambulances are to be borne by the patients, a statement released by the Kempegowda International Airport Limited (KIAL) said.
The treatment centre is equipped with a pharmacy, pathology unit, nurses’ station and other necessary facilities, including an ambulance on standby 24x7 to cater to emergencies. However, it is not meant for the treatment of pregnant women, those with moderate symptoms or those who require Intensive Care Unit beds, the statement said. The facility will also have provisions in place for safe drinking water and visitor areas. “The centre would provide much-needed relief and treatment for patients requiring oxygen support until they are able to get admission in a hospital,” the statement further added.
The initiative was announced by the Fairfax Financial Holdings Group through their subsidiary Fairfax India Holdings Corporation, in collaboration with GiveIndia. Fairfax Financial Holdings engages in insurance and investment management through its subsidiaries, while GiveIndia is a non-governmental organisation that has been working towards COVID-19 relief measures across India since March 2020.
"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 healthcare system, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited said.