The State Bank of India (SBI) has allocated Rs 70 crore to support various initiatives in combating the second wave of COVID-19 and is in talks with various designated authorities to explore partnerships for setting up makeshift hospitals.
The country’s largest commercial bank has dedicated Rs 30 crore to set up 1,000 bed makeshift hospitals, 250 bed ICU facilities and 1,000-bed isolation facilities across some of the worst-hit states.
These facilities will be set up in collaboration with government hospitals and municipal corporations of respective cities, the lender said in a statement on Monday. SBI will also contribute Rs 10 crore for genome-sequencing equipment, lab and vaccine research equipment to the government.
SBI’s other initiatives
Besides, SBI has allocated Rs 21 crore to all its 17 local head offices to address the urgent medical needs of citizens including procuring life-saving healthcare equipment and enhancing oxygen supply to hospitals. It will continue to provide PPE kits, masks, rations and cooked meals.
The bank will also spend Rs 10 crore in partnering with NGOs to undertake community-based testing, strengthening vaccination drives, creating helpline for COVID-19 related matters, providing oxygen supply and other critical activities.
“We are trying our best to make a small contribution to society in the fight against the second wave,” said Chairman Dinesh Khara. “We are committed to contribute funds, resources and reach out to the citizens of India and also join in the government’s efforts in fighting the virus. I urge everyone to offer their support in any form to the people in need and contribute towards making the country Covid-19 free.”
SBI has tied with various hospitals for the vaccination of its employees. The bank has also decided to bear the cost of vaccination for its employees and their dependent family members. SBI has converted 60 of its training centres across the country into isolation/quarantine centres for affected employees and their family members
Last year, SBI had pledged 0.25 per cent of its annual profit to fight the coronavirus outbreak in India and has donated over Rs 108 crore to the PM CARES Fund. In addition, SBI also contributed Rs 11 crore toward supporting the government’s vaccination drive.
SBBI is the largest commercial bank in terms of assets, deposits, branches, customers and employees. The bank has a deposit base of over Rs 35 lakh crore and advances of more than Rs 26 lakh crore with a CASA ratio of about 45 per cent.