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Auto Companies Lend A Helping Hand During Covid-19 Crisis

When the Country is battling the Corona Virus Pandemic, Automakers have come forward and helping the Government by offering to make Face Masks and Ventilators.

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The Automobile industry today is one of the worst-hit industries, with manufacturing shut because of Corona Virus Lockdowns, component sourcing issues and BS4 to BS6 switch. Gloomy situation it might be but the industry is not backing down. Major Indian Carmakers have come forward and making Protective Face masks, Ventilators in their factories. 

Mahindra and Mahindra at pole position started outsourcing designs of Face Shields for Medical Service Providers from its partner Ford Motors. Mahindra’s Plant in Kandivali Mumbai has already started production of these masks. Mr. Pawan Goenka, MD Automotive Division tweeted Monday (23rd March) “Mahindra’s in-house effort for an affordable respiratory device is near fruition. Video shows a working model. Packaging yet to be done.” Mahindra will be sending the in-house produced ventilators for approvals to the health ministry very soon. 

India’s Largest Carmaker – Maruti Suzuki, on the request of Government of India has started collaborating with AgVa Healthcare for manufacturing of Ventilators, looking at producing 10,000 units per month. MSIL Joint venture companies Krishna Maruti is manufacturing 3-ply masks for Haryana and Central Govt, while Bharat Seats Ltd will be manufacturing protective clothing for the govt agencies. 

Hyundai Motors India, The second largest Carmaker of the country has stepped up its initiatives, Hyundai plans to get   advanced diagnostic testing kits from South Korea and distribute to hospitals in India to test 25000 people in consultation with Central government. 

The Hero Group has pledged Rs 100 Crore as an aid for the ongoing COVID-19 relief-efforts in India. Half of this sum, Rs 50 Crore, will be contributed to the PM-Cares Fund and the remaining Rs 50 crore will be spent in other relief efforts. “Our country, and indeed the entire world, is currently facing an unprecedented challenge in the form of COVID-19. In such critical times, it is of utmost importance and urgency that we all come together and support the marginalized sections of the society, along with those who are in dire conditions.” Said Dr. Pawan Munjal.

Bajaj Group has contributed Rs. 100 Crore to the fight against Covid-19. The aid will support the Government and identified private sector hospitals to upgrade ICUs, procure additional equipment and consumables including ventilators and personal protection equipment, enhance testing, and set up isolation units. The company said we all need to come forward in ways more than ever before, to ensure that all citizens of our country have access to healthcare and other necessities of life. In Pune, we will support the up-gradation of key healthcare infrastructure required to tackle Covid-19. These interventions will support communities in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and rural areas of Pune, said the company. Bajaj group also plans support initiatives on food supply, shelter and access to sanitation and healthcare for the daily wage workers, the homeless and street children.

Tata Motors is working with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on making two patient ventilators and the Tata Sons has announced an additional Rs 1,000 crore support towards coronavirus fund. This is in addition to the Rs 500 crore announced by the Tata Trusts. Chairman Tata Sons N Chandrasekaran, in a statement, said, "We will work together with the Tata Trusts and our Chairman Emeritus Mr. Tata would be fully supporting their initiatives, and work in a collaborative manner to bring the full expertise of the group" 

A Brookings Institution Report says – “An estimated 5-10% of total patients will require critical care in the form of ventilator support. In a worst-case scenario, according to one estimate at least, we may end up with 2.2 million cases in India by May 15, which implies that we will need 110,000 to 220,000 ventilators. We have no official figures on the number of ventilators available in the public sector, however, we arrive at an estimated figure using the number of hospital beds available — 7,13,986 total government beds, out of which 5-8% are ICU beds (35,699 to 57,119 ICU beds). Assuming that 50% of these ICU beds have ventilators, we arrive at an estimate of 17,850 to 25,556 ventilators in the country. Even in the best-case scenario where all ICU beds are equipped with ventilators, we have a maximum of ~57k ventilators to cater to a growing number of COVID-19 patients. Clearly, the growing demand for ventilators is going to outstrip the limited supply really soon.”

Major carmakers in the US, Europe and Asia are also coming forward to help make ventilators and other vital medical equipment in these trying times.