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Wipro to 'repurpose' Pune IT facility for 450-bed hospital

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Maharashtra’s COVID-19 relief efforts received a shot in the arm on Tuesday, with IT major Wipro committing to convert one of its campuses at Pune into a 450-bed hospital.

Maharashtra has the highest number of COVID-19 cases, accounting for a third of the country’s total. Pune district has reported 2,200 confirmed cases and 119 deaths and is the second most concentrated region within the state in terms of number of infections after capital Mumbai.

Wipro will be “repurposing” one of its campuses in Hinjewadi area, which hosts a slew of IT companies, to act as an intermediary care hospital, according to an official statement.

It will take four weeks to refurbish the campus and the handover to the Maharashtra government will happen by May 30, it said, adding that the hospital will be converted back into an IT facility after a year.

Typically, IT campuses have multi-floor buildings with each floor having long open halls which serve as sitting desks or cubicles for associates who deliver work on their computers for overseas clients.

Wipro’s Azim Premji is one of the biggest givers in corporate India for the COVID-19 efforts and had committed Rs 1,125 crore to fight the pandemic.

In the statement, Wipro said the facility will have 450 beds for patients, including 12 beds to stabilise critical patients before shifting them to a tertiary care facility, and 24 rooms to accommodate doctors and medical staff.

Wipro will be providing physical infrastructure, medical furniture and equipment besides appointing an administrator and skeletal support staff, it said.

Wipro and the Maharashtra government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding for the facility.

“This humanitarian contribution by Wipro will further strengthen our medical infrastructure and benefit the medical fraternity who are at the forefront of our fight against the pandemic,” state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said.

Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji said the company is committed to support the country’s response to the pandemic and believes everybody should work together to minimise the crisis’ human impact.

The statement said Wipro and Azim Premji Foundation are carrying out COVID-19 related humanitarian and healthcare relief works in Maharashtra across Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad-Waluj, Amalner, Ahmednagar, Akola, Beed, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.

Its relief works have so far touched over 34 lakh beneficiaries across India, the company said.

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