FICCI calls upon industries to extend help in Covid fight
Business chamber Ficci has called upon industries to extend help to mitigate the challenges faced by Bengal in managing the pandemic. It has asked its members to provide supplies of masks, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, apart from re-skilling paramedics in life-saving medical devices such as ventilators.
Several Calcutta-based business houses have already come up with support and more are expected to join, the chamber said. The interventions by the industry has so far been pivotal in easing the supply of medical oxygen, setting up first-level Covid care facilities and importing protective gears such as 3-ply masks.
“The government is urging industry to step up oxygen production as well as seeking contribution to source supplies from other parts of the world. The first priority was to procure oxygen concentrators /cylinders. Members such as Neotia Group, ITC, Luxmi Tea, Dhunseri have come forward to donate concentrators to the state government,” Rudra Chatterjee, chairman of Ficci Bengal, said.
Ambuja Neotia group is setting up a first-line Covid care hospital with 60 beds adjacent to Bhagirathi Neotia Woman & Child Care Centre at Rajarhat. “The facility should be ready by May 26 if all goes well,” Harsh Vardhan Neotia, chairman of Ambuja Neotia, said. He has also procured 30 oxygen concentrators for Calcutta Municipal Corporation.
C.K. Dhanuka, managing director of Dhunseri Tea, said he would procure 1,000 oxygen cylinders for the state. “I will get more if need be, even though supply is tight,” he said.
Luxmi Tea is importing 3-ply masks, designed by a professor of Stanford University in the US, from Bangladesh. It has also procured 100 concentrators from China, apart from sponsoring paramedics to receive training in operating ventilators in association with GE Medical System.