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New & Press Release 

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited to set up 150-bed COV-AID@BLR to Treat COVID-19 Patients


12th May, 2021


  • Scheduled to open on May 18, 2021, the Centre would be equipped with oxygen concentrators, medical equipment, pharmacy, pathology centre, nurses’ station and restrooms
  • Advised by eminent panel of doctors
  • Open to the public; equipped to treat patients with mild hypoxia 

Bengaluru: In order to bolster the healthcare infrastructure that has come under pressure due the second wave of COVID-19 in Bengaluru, Fairfax Financial Holdings Group has provided the funding to set up COV-AID@BLR, a 150-bed, oxygenated COVID-19 treatment centre at BLR Airport. The facility would be operational on May 18, 2021. 

The Fairfax-led initiative, in partnership with GiveIndia, is part-funded by Kempegowda International Airport Foundation (KIAF) – the foundation of Bangalore International Airport Limited. The initiative will be managed by Fairfax Financial Holdings Group's investee companies – KIAF and Quess Corp Limited.

COV-AID@BLR, located near the Cargo Terminals at BLR Airport, would be equipped to treat patients with mild hypoxia (a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level). The facility is designed to be a transit oxygen delivery centre, which would provide much-needed relief and treatment for patients requiring oxygen support until they are able to get admission in a hospital.

The Centre would be equipped with a pharmacy, pathology unit, nurses’ station, rest rooms and a dining area. Suitable drinking water facilities and visitor areas are provided. An ambulance would be on standby 24x7 to cater to emergencies. The necessary arrangements would be made for safe disposal of waste, including bio-waste. 

An eminent panel of doctors, including Dr. Naresh Shetty, Dr. Nandakumar Jairam and Dr. Alexander Thomas, would provide technical assistance in the functioning of the Centre. 

The initiative is funded by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, through its subsidiary Fairfax India Holdings Corporation. The Canada-based group has committed US$5 million (INR 37 Crore) to provide COVID-19 relief in India. 

“We are saddened by the current crisis in India resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fairfax wishes to assist India in traversing this incredibly difficult time and are hopeful that our commitment will provide some relief to India and its health-care system,” said Mr. Prem Watsa, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. 

Advisory Panel of Doctors 

Dr. Naresh Shetty is an orthopedic surgeon, specialised in trauma and arthroplasty, with 21 years of experience. He is specialised in trauma and arthroplasty. A former Medical Director at MS Ramaiah Hospital, Dr. Shetty is currently the President, International Programmes and Strategic Alliance at the same hospital. 

Dr. Nandakumar Jairam is a reputed surgeon with over 45 years of experience. He is currently associated with Columbia Asia Hospital in Bengaluru. 

Dr. Alexander Thomas has served the healthcare sector for over 30 years and holds key positions in several national health associations. He is the founder-member and president of the Association of National Board Accredited Institutions (ANBAI), and Patron of the Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations (CAHO).

Call for Volunteers

COV-AID@BLR is seeking volunteer doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare staff who are willing to offer support at the COVID-19 treatment centre at BLR Airport. Individuals able to manage data entry and other administrative services are also requested to volunteer. Volunteers will receive fair compensation. Interested individuals may reach out to Hemanth Madegowda on COVAid@bialairport.com

About Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited 

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (TSX: FFH and FFH.U) is a holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and the associated investment management.

About GiveIndia: Enabling A Giving Culture

GiveIndia exists to alleviate poverty by enabling the world to give. Established in 2000, it is India’s most trusted giving platform. Its suite of products & solutions enables all givers - individuals and organisations - to donate conveniently to any cause directly on the platform, at their workplace or through one of GiveIndia’s partners. Its community of 2M+ donors and 200+ partners have supported 2,000+ verified nonprofits, impacting 10M+ lives across India. GiveIndia has been working on COVID relief measures through the India COVID Response Fund (ICRF) since March 2020, across healthcare infrastructure, humanitarian needs and cash relief benefit for the underprivileged communities, impacting more than 55L+ lives in 2020 and continuing their COVID relief efforts on a war footing in 2021.

About Bangalore International Airport Limited 

Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) is a public limited company – formed under The Companies Act – to build, own and operate the Greenfield Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) for a 30-year concession period. BLR Airport is the first Greenfield airport in India to be built as a private-public partnership. Private promoters hold 74% (Fairfax 54% and Siemens Projects Ventures 20%) stake in BIAL, while the government holds the remaining 26% (Karnataka State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited – 13%, Airport Authority of India – 13%). 

The Airport began operations in May 2008 and plays a key role in driving the economy of the region – offering connectivity to key destinations in India and across the globe. It is currently the busiest airport in South India and the third in the Country, having welcomed 33.65 million passengers in CY 2019.

BLR Airport was recognised as the Best Regional Airport in India & Central Asia at the 2020 SKYTRAX World Airport Awards, for the fifth time in 11 years. It’s the only Airport in the World to win the ACI-ASQ awards for three consecutive years. 

About Kempegowda International Airport Foundation

Kempegowda International Airport Foundation (KIAF), a subsidiary of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), has been incorporated under Section 8 of The Companies Act, 2013 as a Non-Profit Organisation. The main objective of the Foundation is to carry out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Environment Responsibility (CER) activities of BIAL and its associated companies. The Foundation enables BIAL to collaborate with partners to implement social programmes through contributions/ donations and raise additional funds through voluntary contributions from internal and external stakeholders. 

The Foundation has identified Promotion of Education, Health, Integrated Development, Water and Sanitation, Sports and Promotion of Culture & Heritage as its primary thematic work areas. The projects will be implemented under its flagship initiatives - Namma Shikshana, Namma Arogya, Namma Ooru, Namma Nela -Namma Jala, and Namma Parampare.  

KIAF has been granted 12AA Certificate along with 80G Certificate in accordance with the applicable rules of Income Tax Act, 1961 (indicates that donors can avail tax-benefits as per the Income Tax Act, 1961).

About Quess Corp

Established in Bengaluru in 2007, Quess Corp Limited (BSE: 539978, NSE: QUESS) is India’s leading business services provider - that leverages its extensive domain knowledge and future-ready digital platforms to drive client productivity through outsourced solutions.

Quess provides a host of technology enabled staffing and managed outsourcing services across processes such as sales & marketing, customer care, after sales service, back-office operations, manufacturing operations, facilities and security management, HR & F&A operations, IT & mobility services etc. Quess has a team of around 333,000 employees across India, North America, APAC, and the Middle East as on 31st Dec 2020.