India : Apollo hospitals group has created a COVID Corridor for moneyed class starting with isolation room in hotel, testing, supervision through telemedicine till high end treatment. The project named STAY I aggregates 5000 hotel rooms so far which can be scaled up to 80,000 rooms if need be. It is complete monetized package for Apollo’s project KAVACH announced a couple of days ago. It has a CSR component as well i.e. free STAY I rooms for lesser mortals as well. Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group today announced this in a virtual press conference.
In tandem with reputed hotel chains and food delivery services, Apollo has established a seamless COVID care. Other hospital groups may soon create such safe passage for potential COVID patients. In the press conference, Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Chairperson, Biocon Limited offered free testing facilities for COVID .
The Apollo Group, India’s largest integrated healthcare chain, took forward its comprehensive response plan to COVID-19, Project Kavach, which was announced on 26th March. Isolation being an important part of #break the chain strategy, it has now unveiled STAY I Project.
Project Stay I is an innovative initiative to strengthen the bulwark against COVID-19 by creating isolation rooms in hotels with light medical supervision for quarantine and creating a barrier to ensure people recover without spreading the virus, and or be supervised so they can move to medical care at the right time.
This also ensures that people who don’t need hospital beds are not using the scarce resource if they are not critically sick. The objective is to create isolation and quarantine facilities away from the main hospitals in cities across the country and reduce the burden on hospitals providing acute care.
The group has launched to ensure affordable, safe rooms overnight, clean environments, Apollo Hospitals has joined forces with Hindustan Unilever, State Bank of India, Oyo Rooms, Lemon Tree, Ginger hotels and Zomato to launch a social impact initiative on isolation care.
These isolation rooms will be rolled out in the following cities – Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi, starting with approximately 500 in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, going up by 50 rooms every three days, to reach an eventual target of 5000 rooms across the country. The ramp up in the number of rooms will be calibrated as per the need. And cities will be added based on government requests, support of local healthcare providers and support for CSR.
Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “The steps taken by the Government of India in screening, testing and keeping high risk individuals in state quarantine facilities to prevent the extensive spread of the disease is indeed commendable. However, with increase in the scale and scope of testing, the number of positive cases is expected to increase. A significant number of these individuals will be positive but asymptomatic. There will also be a rise in the number of individuals requiring to be quarantined due to contact with COVID-19 patients. This will put a huge load on the government facilities for quarantine. This is the time for the private sector to step up to the challenge to aid, augment, and support our Government.”
Our attempt is just a small showcase model. Others can replicate. We are happy to share our technology backbone which is facilitating this model.
She added, “Many families in India have 4-5 members and most of them share the same facilities and toilets, this fails the purpose of self-isolation if one the family members is at high risk of COVID-19. Especially since the virus is as asymptomatic for the first week.
Project Stay I will not only reduce the load on the healthcare system by creating clean, comfortable isolation and quarantine facilities for individuals who have no need for active medical intervention but also provide a solution to such families.
The model is envisaged to have a combination of self-paying and CSR funded customers. The purpose of partnering with multiple facility brands is to ensure that all socio-economic segments of society have an equal opportunity to avail these services. A project of this magnitude needs several like-minded partners across the supply chain to come on board and we are thankful to our partners SBI, HUL, DUETSHE BANK, OYOHotels and Homes, Lemon Tree Hotels, Zomato,etc for their support which has made this initiative possible. Owing to SBI & HUL’s generosity, 50% of category 1 rooms (Oyo) would be made available for free of cost to those who cannot afford.
She further added, the entire supply chain with working protocols, functioning and monitoring framework has been developed. A guest who wishes to book a room under Stay-I needs to visit our website www.askapollo.com and fill out the form present on the homepage. Guests can also call our 24/7 helpline number 18605000202 to avail this facility. IN both the scenarios after getting the details, the Apollo Hospitals team would get back to the guest with details of the booking confirmation and check-in requirements within 3 hours. Once checked into the facility, Apollo Hospitals would provide two virtual medical rounds every day, with a specialist being available round the clock on AskApollo / 24|7 platforms. The medications or the diagnostics prescribed during the rounds would be door delivered to the person’s room. Apollo Hospitals would put in place medical protocols and procedures for isolation as per the highest standards of excellence and ensure best practices are followed. Before onboarding a facility, a complete requirement checks of the facility along with a comprehensive training to Oyo staff to screen the patients will be done by Apollo Hospitals. Testing will be done as per ICMR guidelines. We have written to all state governments connecting them to this initiative and we will keep them fully informed
Tracking for critical parameters will enable us to shift to a hospital if required, at the right time. Guests would be required to obtain a clearance certificate from Apollo Hospitals, before they are checked out”.
Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, HUL said, “In these difficult times it is important that the private sector joins hands with our government in the fight against COVId-19. Isolation facilities are extremely important to curb the spread of this virus. As Hindustan Unilever we are delighted to partner with organizations like Apollo Hospitals, State Bank of India, Oyo, Lemon Tree and many more to help create isolation facilities. We believe this will help in augmenting the quarantine system already put in place by the Government. Every single step counts in the country’s fight against COVID-19 and only together we can overcome this crisis.”
Commenting on the development, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO, OYO Rooms said, “We want to work with state governments and private institutions to problem solve and assist in the fight against COVID-19. Our partnership with Apollo Hospitals has been developed to ensure we utilize capacity where possible to create highly sanitized pay per use quarantine facilities under the guidance and supervision of medical professionals. This is an unprecedented situation which requires all of us to find new ways to work together and rise to the occasion. We are thankful for the support of SBI, our asset owners and frontline teams that are making this possible.”
“We’ve seen with other countries that people needing intensive medical care can very quickly outrun the available facilities. This partnership is a step towards addressing that challenge and the model provides an excellent way by which to respond quickly to people in need and curtail further spread of the disease,” said Kaushik Shaparia, Chief Country Officer, Deutsche Bank India.
Gaurav Gupta, Co-Founder & COO, Zomato shared, “As an essential service provider, it is important we find ways to utilise our expertise to fight against this pandemic. We are glad to team up with Apollo Hospitals and other service providers for “Project Stay I” and lend our services to make sure people in isolation have access to good food. We are enabling our network for the supply and employing our logistics capabilities to facilitate daily meals.”
Deepika Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ginger said, “These are challenging times, and we stand as one with Government and the Healthcare professionals to offer our help in whatever way possible. We are happy to partner with Apollo Hospitals for the comprehensive response plan to COVID-19, an Initiative under Project Kavach called “Project-I”, across locations. As part of “Project Stay-I” our hotel facilities at select locations will serve as quarantine centres under the guidance and supervision of medical professionals. We are doing our duty and would like to thank the brave, front-line GINGER colleagues, professional workers, doctors and nurses for their relentless efforts and support in these tough times to stop the spread of the pandemic
Vikramjit Singh, President, Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd. said “Our country is at a very crucial stage of the pandemic and the 21-day lockdown announced by our PM is a well thought out strategy to flatten the curve. However, in the near future there will be a larger number of positive cases, which will result in an increasing need for quarantine accommodation for asymptomatic people who are either high risk or have been in contact with the positive cases. From the beginning of this crisis, Lemon Tree has supported State governments in offering quarantine accommodation and we are now happy to partner with Apollo Hospitals on “Project Stay I” (Stay Isolated). We believe it is extremely important for the private sector, especially hospitality, to play an active role in helping the Government control this pandemic.”
Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “The working protocols, functioning and monitoring framework have been developed and the project will be launched in phases across cities. As part of phase 1, we are launching ~600 rooms in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai & Delhi which will be scaled up to 5000 rooms across other cities in successive phases basis further assessment. Project Stay I will help to “Break the chain” and is expected to help over 10000 patients in a month and prevent over 50 lakh infections. Project Stay I is an integral component of ‘Project Kavach’, a comprehensive response plan that encompasses all aspects from information, screening and assessment, testing, and infrastructure for isolation and treatment. Based on the succession and progression of phase-1, the scaleup in successive weeks is planned. Stay-I is not a hospital or a treatment plan, but just an Isolation of facility. With this integrated response to COVID-19, there is no doubt that this crisis will be overcome”