Oxygen concentrators can now be home delivered to Bengaluru Covid patients under a new initiative launched today in the city by Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Covid Task Force Head Dr Ashwathnarayan CN.
The service, called Ola-GiveIndia O2 ForIndia Initiative, will deliver oxygen within half an hour at the doorstep of Covid patients and free of charge.
The initiative partners are Ola Foundation and GiveIndia Foundation.
Starting with an initial set of 500 oxygen concentrators, for now the service will be available in the Koramangala and Malleswaram areas of the city. Later, it will be expanded further and wherever the Ola service is provided.
Ola and GiveIndia say this will be scaled up to 10,000 concentrators across the country in the coming weeks.
The concentrators will only be given to those whose oxygen saturation is below 94.
How does one order this concentrator?
Patients whose oxygen saturation is below 94 need to log into the Ola app and request for an oxygen concentrator by providing a few basic details. After the request is validated, Ola will pick up the concentrator in one of its cabs with a specially trained driver and bring it to the doorstep within 30 minutes. The beneficiaries need to pay a refundable amount of Rs 5,000 per concentrator.
Once the patient no longer needs the concentrator, Ola will pick it up and return it to GiveIndia. The service of providing the oxygen concentrator as well as the doorstep delivery and pickup will be completely free.
"We're beginning in Bengaluru today and will be rolling this out across the country with up to 10,000 concentrators soon. We hope this will bring much needed support and relief to those in need," Gaurav Porwal, Chief Operating Officer, Ola, said.
"Through this initiative, we will provide oxygen concentrators to those recovering or isolating at home, right at their doorstep. We hope the easier access to oxygen will ease the distress of many patients," said KP Vinod, MD, Alliances and Government Partnerships, GiveIndia.
Hit hard by the second wave of infections, nearly 90 per cent of the country is witnessing a high positivity rate, the centre said on Tuesday. The hospitals are swell with the sick and infection. There is great clamour of beds and medical oxygen, with health facilities across the country facing a dire shortage of supplies amid turmoil and grief.