Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) has announced that the automaker has pledged financial aid of ₹ 1 crore to the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune that's being used to treat coronavirus patients in the city. The contribution will be utilised towards purchasing medical consumables and critical care equipment for the medical team and patients. In addition, the company has announced that it will distribute 35,000 hand sanitisers to hospitals in Pune, Aurangabad and Mumbai. Furthermore, SAVWIPL is distributing 50,000 food packets in Aurangabad, while its Chakan facility is producing face shields.
The face shields can be worn along with face masks and allow healthcare professionals to communicate freely. It's also designed to prevent fogging. The automaker says that the face shields have been approved by Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Dean of the Maharashtra State Government-run Sassoon General Hospital, and have been certified for indoor and outdoor use. The face shields will be used in the ICU and during COVID-19 OPD consultation. It can be sanitised after six to eight before being reused.
Furthermore, Skoda Auto Czech Republic has developed reusable FFP3 respirators for hospitals using 3D printers in collaboration with the Czech Technical University, while the company is using its fleet of vehicles to distribute medicines and food in its home country. The Volkswagen Group is also organising medical equipment including face masks, gloves, disinfectants, clinical thermometers, protective goggles and protective clothing for medical personnel in different markets globally.
All SAVWIPL plants have temporarily closed operations across its three facilities, even as the non-production staff continue to work from home. Apart from Skoda VW, other carmakers have also stepped to contribute towards supplying funds. Honda announced a donation of ₹ 11 crore, while Bajaj and Hero will donate ₹ 100 crore each. Other automakers including Mahindra and Ford are producing ventilators, face masks and face shields to fight COVID-19.