The second wave of Coronavirus currently sweeping across the country is causing large-scale hardship and economic disruption in the country, which has already been facing enormous challenges since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020.
As India’s leading industry association, CII and the CII Foundation, and affiliates played a key role in providing relief and rehabilitation to over 80 lakh people in 2020.
In 2021, as the second wave is spreading faster and deeper, including in rural India, CII and CII Foundation have re-doubled their efforts to alleviate the economic losses and the impact on people.
CII and CII Foundation, along with Young Indians, a CII initiative, and affiliate associations, are working closely with the Central and State Governments and leveraging the vast industry connect to reach millions across the country. The relief and rehabilitation efforts are centred around:
Extensive awareness campaigns through various channels are also being undertaken simultaneously to promote safe practices as well as vaccination. The CII Foundation Woman Exemplars, a network of grassroots-level women who have emerged as community leaders after battling the odds, are creating awareness, especially amongst marginalised communities, in various states.
Procurement and Deployment of Medical Equipment: More than 22,000 oxygen cylinders, 2000 PPEs and 1600 pulse oximeters have been distributed. These are helping bridge the gap between the supply and demand for medical equipment, which is essential to combat Covid-19. A lot of this medical equipment is being distributed in Tier II and Tier III towns to bolster the healthcare supplies available there.
Strengthening healthcare Infrastructure: The second wave of Covid-19 has stretched to the limit the healthcare infrastructure, and as an increasing number of people require healthcare assistance, especially oxygen support and hospitalisation, there is a pressing need to set up Covid-care facilities and ramp up existing facilities. Eleven Covid-care Centres have been set up. A 200-bed Covid-care Centre has been set up in Gurugram with excellent medical equipment and facilities such as oxygen concentrators. These services are free of cost. In Kochi, Kerala, CII has converted a Convention Centre into a 500-bedded Covid-care facility.
Distribution of Relief Material: One of the biggest challenges people face in a pandemic is the lack of regular and easy access to essentials such as food and medicines. This lack of access could be due to many reasons, but its impact can be detrimental to the physical and mental wellbeing of a person. CII and CII Foundation have, therefore, focussed on distributing relief material across the country. More than 7,000 ration kits (approximately 10 kg a kit), 92,000 medical accessories such as face masks, 14,000 PPE kits and more than 2,000 litres of santisers have been distributed.
The outbreak of Coronavirus is unprecedented in scale and impact. As economies across the globe struggle to combat its ill effects, sustained and focussed effort is needed at the community level to reduce the social impact. Job losses, uncertainty, health challenges and a host of other issues are testing the social fabric of every country, and collective action is the need of the hour.
CII is grateful for the support it is receiving from Government and industry as it undertakes extensive relief and rehabilitation efforts across the country in this battle against COVID-19. The challenges can be tackled best with collective action.