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Technology major IBM said that it has provided healthcare facilities in three states to help them fight a potential third wave of Covid-19 infections. To this end, the American company said it has set up facilities like pediatric ICU beds and oxygen concentrators in Karnataka, Haryana and Uttarakhand.

IBM has provided these healthcare facilities as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in India, in collaboration with the Nasscom Foundation.

“While a lot of relief like oxygen cylinders was coming in to address the immediate short term need, we decided to work on mid to long term requirements with the state governments," IBM India and South Asia Head-CSR Manoj Balachandran told news agency PTI.

“All that we are doing now is obviously trying to be prepared for the third wave, hoping against hope that the third wave is not going to be as severe as the earlier one," he added.

IBM is focussing on these three states, but will re-evaluate if a third wave hits and look at other states for extending relief, Balachandra said.

In Karnataka, 45 pediatric ICU beds were provided to mitigate potential risk to children if a third wave arrives, as they are not vaccinated. These beds have been set up in CV Raman General Hospital and Sevashram Hospital in Bengaluru. The Nasscom Foundation has partnered with Rashtrotthana Parishad to get these high-end equipment installed.

IBM has deployed 122 oxygen concentrators and 125 flow meters in Cantonment General Hospital in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. It has deployed an oxygen generation plant of 200 litre per minute (LPM) capacity at Faridabad District Hospital and Community Health Centre in Haryana.

Besides, the company has provided nine ICU beds, four regular hospital beds, five high-flow nasal canula and 191 flow meters to the Faridabad District Hospital and Community Health Centre, he added.

Balachandran said current efforts in these states should help with the third wave. Reasonable capacity has been created in some of these hospitals to handle the likely third wave, he added.

IBM India is vigilant to meet the possible demand that may come from hospitals if a third wave hits, Balachandran said.

Nasscom Foundation CEO Nidhi Bhasin said, "The whole tech industry responded very fast. It was very overwhelming the way everybody responded, including IBM, during the second wave of the pandemic."

The focus was on building infrastructure and creating awareness about vaccination. Companies like IBM should come forward and support these kinds of initiatives, she added.

Apart from this initiative being implemented along with Nasscom Foundation, Balachandran said IBM India is engaged in implementing CSR works in areas like education.

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