COVID-19: Mastercard donates USD 8.9 million to install 2,000 portable beds in India
COVID-19: Mastercard donates USD 8.9 million to install 2,000 portable beds in India

Leading global payments company Mastercard has donated USD 8.9 million to a New York-based non-profit body, American India Foundation, to install 2,000 portable beds in India, which is reeling from a deadly wave of the COVID-19.

"Mastercard has granted an incredible USD 8.9 million to the AIF COVID-19 Response, to install 2,000 portable beds in India, addressing the immediate healthcare needs of the nation," the AIF announced on Friday.

The grant is estimated to help 2.5 million Indians to gain access to healthcare. "This is AIF's largest-ever gift, and these funds will be used to procure and place portable hospitals in areas of greatest need across the country," the non-profit body said.

Every bed unit will be equipped with ventilator, medical equipment, and other supplies. Each unit can easily be de-constructed or re-purposed as extra space for various community needs, such as extra classrooms, a media release said.

Meanwhile, New Jersey-based Mount Sinai Hospital on Friday announced that on May 3 it will be shipping 25 ventilators, and 100 sleep apnea machines with kits to convert them to ventilators, to hospitals all over India through a chartered plane to Mumbai.

This effort is being led by Dr Ash Tewari, Chair of the Department of Urology, and Michael J McCarry, Senior Vice President of Perioperative Services.

"Mount Sinai Hospital acquired these ventilators for its own COVID-19 surge last year and we are pleased that now they can be directed to where they can be of more use," a media release said.

The ventilators, resmed oxygen devices and supplies are being split into five pallets to be sent to five public hospitals in Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur, Kolkata and Bengaluru.

Dr Tewari through his foundation, The Global Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, has also purchased disposable supplies for 100 patients and will also be helping to fund the costs of the air shipping.

India is in the midst of a deadly wave of the COVID-19, with over 4 lakh new infections reported on Saturday, taking the caseload to 1,91,64,969. The death toll stands at 2,11,853, according to the Health Ministry.

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