Despite the 21-day nationwide lockdown in place currently, COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in India at an alarming pace. In a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic, carmakers are contributing to relief efforts, and Mercedes-Benz has now announced it will set up a temporary hospital to house COVID-19 patients.
In association with local authorities, Mercedes-Benz India will turn a newly built Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) property into a makeshift hospital. This 374-room property is located in the Mhalunge-Ingale village in Chakan Khed, near Pune city, and will be equipped with the required medical facilities and beds to accommodate up to 1,500 patients.
The company will facilitate the logistics and all the equipment needed for the hospital, including infrastructure for stay, stretchers, wheelchairs, personal protective equipment, sanitiser, and has already donated ventilators to the Grant Medical Foundation (Ruby Hall Clinic). When the pandemic subsides, Mercedes-Benz has promised to donate all medical equipment to the civil hospital in Khed, and the remaining assets from the isolation wards will be donated to the tribal youth hostels.
Additionally, Mercedes-Benz India employees will contribute one day's salary to a relief fund, the total of which shall be matched by the company, and the final, cumulative amount will be donated to the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s relief fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mercedes-Benz India has also promised to provide dry rations and cleaning kits to 1,600 daily-wage workers and below-poverty-line families in the Khed and Viman Nagar areas to help them meet their requirements till the end of May.