Chennai, May 9 (India Today) – Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings on Saturday pledged to donated 450 oxygen concentrators to the Tamil Nadu government which will help them in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
CSK director R Srinivasan handed over the oxygen concentrators to the state’s Chief Minister MK Stalin, with president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Rupa Gurunath also present.
The three-time champions have tied up with Bhoomika Trust, an NGO involved in Covid relief operations, to procure the oxygen concentrators. The first consignment of oxygen concentrators has arrived and the remaining is expected to reach early next week.
The oxygen concentrators will be used for the “benefit of Covid patients being treated in Government hospitals and the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC)-run Covid care centres.
India’s healthcare infrastructure is reeling under the pressure of the deadly second wave of Covid-19 over the last few weeks. India added more than 4.01 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours with a record 4,187 fatalities.
Hospitals in several states have been complaining of shortage of oxygen for weeks which forced the Supreme Court on Saturday to form a 12-member national task force that would be tasked with formulating a methodology for the “scientific allocation of medical oxygen”.
“The people of Chennai and Tamil Nadu form the very heartbeat of the Super Kings and we want them to know that we are all together in this fight against the pandemic,” CSK CEO Mr KS Viswanathan said.
CSK were themselves hit hard by the virus after bowling and batting coaches L Balaji and Michael Hussey tested positive for Covid-19 in Delhi, earlier this week, which also contributed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to suspend the IPL 2021 for an indefinite period.
Balaji and Hussey have since been shifted to Chennai for further treatment. Notably, CSK captain MS Dhoni has decided to stay back in Delhi until all his teammates depart from the capital city, some of whom have already reached home.
4 players – Varun Chakravarthy (Kolkata Knight Riders), Sandeep Warrier (KKR), Wriddhiman Saha (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Amit Mishra (Delhi Capitals) – also returned positive results on May 3 and 4. Two more KKR cricketers – Tim Siefert and Prasidh Krishna – tested positive on Saturday.