Fairfax Financial Holdings Group, in partnership with GiveIndia, has provided the funding to set up COV-AID@BLR, a 150-bed, oxygenated COVID-19 treatment centre at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport, with the aim of offering much-needed relief to the healthcare infrastructure that has come under pressure due the second wave of COVID-19. The facility has started its operations on May 18, 2021. 

The COV-AID@BLR initiative is part-funded by Kempegowda International Airport Foundation (KIAF) – the foundation of Bangalore International Airport Limited and is managed by Fairfax Financial Holdings Group’s investee companies – BIAL and Quess Corp Limited.

Designed as a transit oxygen delivery center

Located close to the Cargo Terminals at BLR Airport, COV-AID@BLR, is prepared 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 150-bed Dedicated Oxygen Facility is designed provide immediate relief and treatment for patients who require oxygen support until they can get admission in a hospital.

The facility is not equipped to treat pregnant women or moderate cases and those requiring high flow oxygen support / ICU beds.

In order to be eligible for admission, a patient must:

• have RT-PCR or RAT positive report / have symptoms (with/ without test report)

• be above 14 years of age

• be asymptomatic/ with mild hypoxia and require oxygenation; SPO2 above 90% on room air

• be referred by hospital/ medical practitioner/ Nodal Officer

• be able to carry out their own activities

From Concept to Delivery in 18 days

The structure is built ground-up on 3,500 sq. m., comprised of a portal truss with fire-rated tensile fabric and a raised false flooring with a vinyl layer finish. There are three separate blocks for patients, admin and other activity. The center is equipped with a pharmacy, pathology unit, nurses’ station, rest rooms and a dining area. Visitor areas as well as suitable drinking water facilities are also provided. A bio-medical waste collection area has also been arranged. Apart from this, an ambulance would be on standby 24×7 to cater to emergencies.

Tie-ups with hospitals

The facility has tie -ups with hospitals including M S Ramaiah Hospital, Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Aster CMI Hospital, Victoria Hospital, Bowring Hospital, Sparsh Hospital + 3 branches and Government Hospital, Devanahalli for referral of patients – in-patient and transfer of those recovering from severe to normal illness, as well as reverse referral of patients from the Centre to the Hospital.

Advisory Panel of Doctors 

Technical assistance will be provided by an eminent panel of doctors, including Dr. Naresh Shetty, Dr. Nandakumar Jairam and Dr. Alexander Thomas, to facilitate the smooth functioning of the Centre.

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).

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 relief against COVID-19 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. 

Guidelines for admission:

  • Documents required: (a) Doctor’s prescription (b) Relevant medical records (c) Aadhaar card.
  • Admission subject to triage by doctors at the Facility, and availability of beds.
  • Medical treatment shall be free: no charges for bed, nursing and F&B. Patients would be required to pay for medicines, tests and ambulance directly to the Agencies. Insurance not applicable.
  • If the patient’s condition deteriorates, caregivers shall find a bed on their own and shift the patient (ambulance available at the facility may be used).
  • Note: The Centre does not have capability to manage pregnant patients.

For admission/ queries, contact the designated Nodal Officers:

  • Sri. Sannappaiah, JD & Member Secretary BIAAPA, Devanahalli– 94481 16661
  • Dr. Sanjay,Taluk Health Officer, Devanahalli – 95382 79991 

Alternatively, call the 24×7 Helpdesk at COV-AID@BLR on 91486 70158/ 91487 06158.


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