Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has announced a slew of measures to fight the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) including setting up India’s first dedicated COVID-19 hospital, special quarantine facilities, importing additional test kits and enhancing its production capacities to produce 1,00,000 face-masks per day.
Within two weeks, Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has set up a dedicated 100 bedded centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai, for patients who test positive for COVID-19.
  1. This first-of-its-kind-in-India centre is fully funded by Reliance Foundation and includes a negative pressure room that helps in preventing cross contamination and helps control infection. 
  2. All beds are equipped with the required infrastructure, bio-medical equipment such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machine and patient monitoring devices.
  3. Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital has also offered to set up special medical facilities to quarantine travellers from notified countries and suspected cases identified through contact tracing.
  4. The company is enhancing its production capacities to produce 1,00,000 face-masks per day and a large number of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as suits and garments, for the nation’s health-workers to equip them further to fight the coronavirus challenge.
  5. RIL has also built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra and handed it over to the district authorities.
  6. RIL has assured that its retail shops will remain open and the company will provide free fuel from its petroleum retail outlets for all emergency service vehicles used to transport.
  7. The company has moved most of its employees to its work-from-home platform except for those who are manning critical roles in maintaining the Jio network for nearly 40 crore customers and for providing uninterrupted supply of fuel, grocery and other essential items of daily consumption.
How contagious is the coronavirus?
  1. For those unsure about where India stands vis-a-vis the coronavirus contagion, here's help based on data from Indian Council of Medical Research.
  2. According to latest government data, India's case count was at 492, with nine deaths being reported. From just a 100 cases on March 15, India's case count shot up almost 5 times in just 9 days through March 23.
  3. In a report released on Monday, the ICMR said, strictly implementing social distancing measures such as home quarantine of symptomatics and suspected cases will reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62% and the peak number of cases by 89%, thus "flattening" the curve and providing more opportunities for interventions.
  4. The ICMR also warned that introduction of community transmission of coronavirus cases would take anywhere from 20 days to a few months to be visible.
  5. Under the most optimistic scenario, the study assumed that one infected person would only infect 1.5 others. Under the most pessimistic one, 4 people or more could be infected from one positive patient.
  6. The report has also suggested that India ranks 17th among the countries at the highest risk of importation of COVID-19 through air travel
  7. The probability of an infected air traveller to come to India as the final destination was 0.2%, with the highest relative import risk in Delhi (0.064%) followed by Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi.
  8. It also reiterated that "identifying at least 75% of the asymptomatic individuals was needed, in order to delay the within-country outbreak by an appreciable amount." Additional detection of 90% asymptomatic individuals would delay the average time to epidemic by 20 days.
  9. The report also suggested that the duration of the outbreak would be much lower in the scenario of ‘no intervention’ compared to ‘intervention’.
  10. The government has maintained that the third stage, community transmission, has not yet begun in the country. Complete lockdown has been imposed on most of the country, with rail and bus services being suspended till March 31. This midnight onward, even domestic flights will be suspended, allowing for only cargo to be transported.
  11. As per WHO data, almost 4 lakh cases have been reported globally, including 81,171 cases from China and 63,927 in Italy.