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Apollo Hospitals Group has launched Project Kavach to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic

Date: 26 Mar 20

Apollo Hospitals Group has announced a new initiative - Project Kavach (shield) - a comprehensive and integrated response plan and approach to protect people across the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan encompasses all aspects from information, preventive measures, online self-assessment for risk, testing, isolation/quarantine rooms, treatment and hospital beds, and ICU facilities for critically ill patients.

‘Never been seen in the last 100 years’

Making the announcement at a virtual press conference, Founder and Chairman Dr. Prathap C Reddy said: “The pandemic we are seeing now has never been seen before in the last 100 years. The Apollo Hospital Group has been leveraging its experience of the last 30 years and its protocols for the safety of patients and health personnel to face the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. The Apollo family has come together with their expertise and commitment to face the challenge and tackle the pandemic successfully”.

He also mentioned that they would work with the Government and use the Group’s technology and Artificial Intelligence to reassure people, through sample collection facility at their homes, testing clinics and in-patient service.

Fighting for generations

“We are fighting a war not just for this generation but also for the generations to come. The pandemic knows no borders, makes no distinction between religion, caste creed or social status. It will require all of us to come together to break the chain,” Dr. Reddy said.

“Project Kavach is the Group’s pledge and will augment the Government’s initiatives to address the COVID-19 pandemic. All other private hospitals are also doing their best,” he said.

Ms. Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group said they designed an AI-based coronavirus Risk Assessment and it is available in the form of an App and on the website to guide individuals about the potential risk through simple interactive questions. Based on the risk people are guided to contact the certified Help centre.

Tele-consultation

She said over 8.5 million people across 30 countries had already gone through screening on the Apollo 24x7 app and website, and it is expected that over 10 million Indians will use the scan to know their risk score. The group also offers virtual and tele-consultation with all doctors at Apollo Hospitals to enable people seek healthcare from home.

All the 3,800 Apollo Pharmacy outlets across 18 States will serve people with medicines, consumables. Stocks have been doubled, prices are being monitored strictly, and home delivery capability has been enhanced to even serve 10 lakh people if needed.

Ms. Sangita Reddy, MD of the Group, said that most Apollo Centres have been cleared for COVID-19 testing. There are provisions for home collection of samples and drive through testing in accordance with government guidelines for testing.

Dedicated fever clinics were being set up to screen people and those who qualify for tests would pay the government recommended charges.

5,000 rooms across the country

With more screening, more positive cases may come up and the Group has launched isolation rooms in the vicinity of Apollo Hospitals with medical supervision for quarantine. This would address the situation where over 50 per cent of cases would need only isolation and medication. The isolation rooms under Project Stay-I are available in Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi and have started with 50 each and going up by 50 rooms every three days to reach a target of 5,000 rooms across the country.

Ms. Suneeta Reddy, MD, said over 250 hospital beds were kept aside for COVID-19 patients and it could be ramped up to 500 if needed. The group has 1,000 ventilators and enough of them could be freed for COVID19 -patients since only emergency cases are being taken up at present.

When asked what kind of support they were expecting from the government, Dr. Reddy said, “The government was aware that the health care sector was going through trying times. Its support would not stop with COVID-19 alone, and the sector would require its support to tackle all illnesses of people all through.”

 

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