Pernod Ricard earmarks Rs 50 crore for COVID-19 relief measures in India

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New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) Global alcoholic beverages firm Pernod Ricard on Tuesday said it has earmarked Rs 50 crore for COVID-19 relief measures in India, especially to aid government effort towards augmenting timely access to quality healthcare to affected people.

Since the beginning of the pandemic Pernod Ricard India (PRI) has earmarked Rs 50 crore in healthcare for COVID-19 support and beyond and more than Rs 18 crore have already been deployed since March 2020, the company said in a statement.

During the oxygen crisis in the second wave of the pandemic, PRI said it has further stepped efforts by helping set up (Pressure Swing Adsorption) PSA units in large multi-specialty government hospitals. Eight PSA units are being set up in hospitals -- five in Uttar Pradesh, one at PGIMS Rohtak, one at Nashik, and one donated through the French government.

'The second wave of COVID-19 has impacted India in an inconceivable way, making it important for people across the community to come together,' Thibault Cuny, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard India, and Chief Executive Officer, Pernod Ricard South Asia said in a statement.

Stating that the company has in the past rise to the needs of the nation, he said, 'We are committed to supporting the immediate emergency services needed to combat the crisis. We hope that our contribution will help our people in these challenging times as we explore other significant mediums to support our country.' The company has also supported setting up isolation wards and provided over 350 oxygen concentrators through the state health departments along with BIPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannulas (HFNCs) across the country ensuring that more and more people get access to care when needed.

PRI said till date it has supported the strengthening of critical care support infrastructure in public hospitals, with over 100 Intensive Care Ventilators, 105 HFNCs, 140 intensive care units (ICU) beds, 35 Multi Para Monitors.

Besides, the company said it has provided preventive healthcare support for personal and public hygiene with sanitisers, and masks across 17 states for frontline COVID warriors like the Punjab Police Personnel, Indian Navy, and Air Force (CSD), state health departments, and truck drivers.

As many as 14 mobile health Vans, four ambulances have been serving the affected during these crisis times, taking care of primary healthcare needs of 2,81,700 community members since the first COVID-19 wave.

'Over the next three years, the mobile health Vans, ambulances will continue to reach out to more than 600 villages a year, providing access to quality healthcare and free medicines to those who have emerged victorious in their fight against the virus but still have residual effects and augment the vaccination efforts in rural India,' the company said.

The battle with COVID-19 is a challenging one, particularly for rural India, and that's where the healthcare system will need the maximum support, Cuny said, adding, 'The vans will also aid the local healthcare centers in scaling up the community vaccination efforts in rural India.' PTI RKL SHW SHW

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