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It has been more than a year of fighting the deadly Coronavirus. India recently witnessed a huge surge in COVID-19 cases with the second wave of infection making the country worst affected in the world.


India is facing an acute shortage of oxygen supply for COVID-19 affected patients and the healthcare system difficulties in managing the more than 3 lakh cases daily.  In this dire situation, cooperatives in India have come forward to support the healthcare system.


IFFCO is Building Oxygen Plants


The Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) is spending Rs 30 crore (£2.9m) to build four plants in Kalol (Gujarat), Aonla and Phulpur (Uttar Pradesh) and at Paradeep (Odisha) for oxygen supply to the health sector for free. Dr. US Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO said that the coop will fill up the oxygen cylinders free of cost for hospitals given they get own cylinders for a refill. IFFCO will also provide oxygen cylinders with a security deposit to avoid hoarding of oxygen. More information can be found here.


NCDC Provides Support to Boost Health Infrastructure


The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has pledged credit support of Rs 10,000 crore (£962m) to cooperatives. Mr. Sundeep Nayak, Manging Director, NCDC said, “Under the Ayushman Sahakar scheme, NCDC stands committed to lend Rs 10,000 crore [£962m] to cooperatives either to set up new healthcare facilities or to upgrade the existing ones.”


The scheme was launched by the NCDC last October in response to the pandemic, to upgrade India’s health infrastructure. It is looking to increase the number of beds in the country’s 51 cooperative hospitals – with the current tally standing at 5,000. More information can be found here.


Information Sources: Coop News and Outlook India