Page 76 - Tata-Trusts-Annual-Report-2021-22
P. 76

BACKGROUND                                                infrastructure.  Meanwhile, an acute shortage of
                                                                                       vaccines stymied the vaccination drive started by the
                             Initially peaking in September 2020, the onset of the     Government of India in January 2021.
                             second and far more devastating wave of Coronavirus
                             infections were recorded in the first week of March 2021.   The worst phase of the second wave of Coronavirus
                             As of April 1, 2021, daily new infections climbed to over   infections lasted for about three months, subsiding by the
                             81,000 and the Trusts rose to the challenge as during the   end of June 2021, as vaccination drives gathered steam
                             first wave, through its e orts to enhance medical          across the country. India recorded a third surge in cases
                             infrastructure across the country, more so in areas with   during the latter part of December 2021. Although
                             disadvantaged populations and sub-optimal medical         infections were reportedly milder, compared with the first
                             facilities. E orts to ramp up vaccination drives were     two waves, the number of cases rose dramatically from a
                             strengthened, along with facilitating vaccinations of the   low of 5,000 per day in the third week of December to a
                             Trusts’ employees and their families.                     high of over 350,000 by the third week of January 2022.
                                                                                       The case count quickly dwindled to less than 4,000 a day
                             While the first wave of the pandemic                       by the first week of March, with the prevalent COVID strain
                             saw the imposition of large-                              declared to be milder. As a result, most patients were
                             scale  restrictions  due  to                              found to be asymptomatic, leading to a faster drop
                             nationwide lockdowns,                                     in the number of hospitalisations, compared with the
                             coupled    with   the                                     earlier waves.
                             medical fraternity trying
                             to  come  to  grips with
                             constantly  changing
                             treatment   protocols,
                             the   second    wave                                      A COUNTRYWIDE
                             proved to  be deadlier  due  to  the                      INITIATIVE OF
                             more virulent strain of COVID-19
                             driving  up infection rates. As the                       TATA TRUSTS
                             daily new  case count topped
                             414,000 on May 6, 2021 (the peak of                       The Tata Trusts’ relief programme ‘One Against Covid’, was
                             the second wave), India                                              operationalised  in April  2020  through a
                             was left grappling with                                              commitment of  `5 billion and continued its
                             a severe dearth in                                                   operations through the 2021 financial year.
                             medical infrastructure.                                              The year under review saw the completion of
                             Supplies of medical                                                  two discrete projects; the first aimed at
                             oxygen,  necessary  as                                               setting up Covid care infrastructure facilities
                             the   first   line  of                                                in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan,
                             treatment, were severely                                             Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh; the second to
                             stretched, with the unavailability of beds at various medical   augment capacities at existing hospitals to provide care to
                             facilities further pressuring an already struggling healthcare  an increasing number of patients.

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