Even as the auto industry is facing grave challenges including falling sales and plant shutdowns, many auto companies have committed funds and resources to support the fight against coronavirus pandemic
Mercedes-Benz India has emerged as one of the major contributors, as it has announced plans to set up a temporary hospital exclusively for Covid-19 patients. The facility will come up in Mhalunge-Ingale village in Chakan Khed (near Pune) and will have around 1500 bed isolations wards.
The temporary hospital will be located in Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (MHADA) housing area, which was recently built with 374 rooms. It will be set up in association with Zila Parishad. Mercedes-Benz India will be assisting Zila Parishad in developing all the required infrastructure such as OPD facilities, medical equipment, wheel chairs, stretchers, sanitizers, PPE kits, etc. These are essentials that will be needed for effective treatment of patients diagnosed with Covid-19.
Apart from the temporary hospital, Mercedes-Benz India has donated ventilators to Grant Medical Foundation (Ruby Hall Clinic). Ventilators play an important role in the treatment of Covid-19 patients who develop respiratory issues such as shortness of breath. As of now, only a limited number of ventilators are available in the country. A lot more ventilators will be needed, as coronavirus cases are constantly on the rise.
Mercedes-Benz India will also be supporting local communities comprising daily wageworkers and BPL families in Khed and Viman Nagar area. The socio-economically weaker sections of the society have been hit hard due to the lockdown and they are struggling to make ends meet. With limited resources at their disposal, these communities face an increased risk of getting infected by coronavirus.
To help these communities, Mercedes-Benz India will be providing dry rations and cleaning kits to around 1600 families. The project will be executed in association with Shashwat Trust and Ashraya Initiatives for Children, the existing partner NGOs of Mercedes-Benz India. Under the program, all food and hygiene needs of these families will be taken care of till end of May.
As coronavirus pandemic is expected to be tamed in the coming months, the company has made plans to dismantle the temporary hospital in a way that benefits the local community. Once Covid-19 situation eases, the facility will be closed down and all medical equipment will be donated to the civil Hospital of Khed. Other assets from isolation wards will be handed over to government authorities, who will transfer it to tribal youth hostels.