Indian businessman recovers from COVID-19, converts office into coronavirus ward for poor

Surat: An Indian businessman who recovered from coronavirus has converted his office into an 85-bed facility to provide free treatment for the poor.

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The coronavirus epidemic is still raging in the world’s second-most populous nation, with the number of infections passing 1.5 million on Wednesday, and almost 35,000 deaths.

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With public hospitals struggling to cope, Kadar Shaikh spent 20 days in a private clinic last month in the western city of Surat – and was horrified by the bill.

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“The cost of treatment at a private hospital was huge. How could poor people afford such treatment?” property developer Shaikh told AFP.

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“So I decided to do something and contribute in the fight against the deadly virus.”

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Once back on his feet, Shaikh secured approval from local authorities to convert his 30,000-square-feet (2,800-square-metre) office premises.

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The government provides and pays for the staff, medical equipment and medicine, while Shaikh bought the beds and bears the cost of bed linen and electricity.

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Anyone can be admitted, he said, regardless of “caste, creed or religion”.

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