In March, Infosys Foundation and Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Health had promised the Karnataka government to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. They have kept that promise with the opening of a 100-bed quarantine hospital on the outskirts of Bengaluru to help the needs of the economically weaker section.
The Infosys Foundation, headed by Sudha Murty, is the philanthropic and corporate social responsibility arm of IT firm Infosys, headquartered in Bengaluru.
The monitoring by doctors and nurses of the nearby Narayana Health City and provision of essential medicine will be done free of cost.
The Infosys Foundation had earlier announced Rs 100 crore to help the state government's efforts.
"Diseases often hit the underprivileged the hardest, because not only can they not afford proper treatment, but they also lose livelihood when they are dealing with the illness. This is a small effort by the Foundation to ensure that the underserved people of our society get access to clean, hygienic accommodation as well as appropriate medical treatment. We are thankful to Narayana Health City for their partnership and the thoughtfulness of this initiative," said Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation.
"We are pleased to partner with Infosys Foundation to open this 100-room quarantine facility for underprivileged patients. Providing safe-spaces, with proper medical care to enable patients to isolate themselves, will play a big role in India's fight against COVID-19, and we thank Infosys Foundation for their support in this endeavour," said Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health.
The state government has said that people in quarantine at home to send selfies through an app every hour to prove that they are at home and not wandering outside in violation of quarantine provisions.
People who returned from abroad before the ban on flights have been stamped at the airport and told to stay at home for 14 days. Details of the addresses of people in quarantine have been shared with the public - raising a debate between the need for strict measures against the novel coronavirus and the right to privacy.
The number of positive cases in Karnataka has crossed the 100-mark. Attempts are on to enforce the nationwide 21-day lockdown in the state, but as elsewhere, groups are gathering particularly at markets.