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Tech-Companies are Backing up India's COVID-19 Battle


Just when things started to go back to normal towards the end of 2020, the novel Coronavirus leveled-up in the subcontinent and has started to give a more tough battle than before.

The second wave of this virus is causing even more damage than before, where the country's economy is severely affected, hospitals are running out of medical resources to service their patients. India is especially facing dire consequences from the effects of the outbreak, accounting to various reasons ranging from election campaigns in the states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam to people taking the restrictions lightly and our bulky population. It’s quite evident that the country is struggling to safeguard its inhabitants, let alone making it up for the. According to 'WorldOMeters', the website boasts 17,997,267 active cases of the virus at present. With every passing day, the cases seem to be increasing and most hospitals are running out of facilities to even admit a patient in their wards.

Social media feeds are flooded with appeals seeking for help, plasma donors, oxygen concentrators, funds and the list goes on. Citizens have now taken to Twitter to address areas where help is required, along with which, a few multinational companies as well as a few home-grown companies are stepping forward to lend a hand in whatever way possible.

Home-Grown Companies to the Rescue
The Tata Group has announced the import of 24 cryogenic containers to carry liquid oxygen and help alleviate the country's oxygen shortage. Its subsidiaries, such as Tata Steel, also supply 200-300 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen to state governments and hospitals on a daily basis.

For the same cause, Reliance Industries have hatched a plan to donate 100 tonnes of oxygen to India's worst-affected COVID areas.

Popular delivery platforms including Zomato and Dunzo are providing assistance in their own unique ways, where Zomato and its NGO Zomato Feeding India launching a priority delivery function for Covid-19 emergencies, including oxygen. The company wants to collect Rs 50 crore. Dunzo has made its social media site available to those who need their requests to be heard louder.

CRED's founder Kunal Shah has announced that it will provide India with 1 billion litres of oxygen. Every 10,000 CRED coin in combination with the Milaap NGO means going to 1,000 litres of oxygen.

Another payment platform, Paytm also claims to have supplied oxygen concentrators of various sizes and has planned to raise over Rs.10 crore to donate to medical institutions across the country. So far, the platform has claimed to have collected nearly Rs.1 crore.

"We agree to supply, import, and donate 100 ventilators to hospitals listed by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in order to help Indian hospitals combat COVID-19's extreme second spike," said Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice president and country head, Amazon India.

Multinational Brands Also Stepping in to the Rescue
On looking at the ever-decreasing supply of oxygen concentration devices, the tech giant Amazon provided over 10,000 oxygen concentrators all over the country. The company said that it collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to quickly find ventilators with appropriate technical specifications.

Additionally, it also proclaimed that it will cooperate with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Covid-19 Response Pune Platform among others, to provide airlift 8, 000 oxygen concentrators, and 500 Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machines from Singapore.

"We agree to supply, import, and donate 100 ventilators to hospitals listed by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in order to help Indian hospitals combat COVID-19's extreme second spike," said Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice president and country head, Amazon India.

In terms of monetary funds, Google's Sundar Pichai has declared to donate a relief fund of worth Rs. 135 crore to ‘UNICEF’ and non-profit ‘Give India’ for medical supplies, to support high-risk communities and has also declared to help spread critical information about the deadly virus.

Sundar Pichai tweeted, "I'm devastated to learn of India's escalating Covid crisis. Google and its employees are donating Rs 135 crore to GiveIndia and UNICEF for medical supplies, high-risk community organizations and grants to help spread vital knowledge".

Along the line Microsoft’s Satya Nadella has also come forward to provide help through voice, resources, technologies to aid relief efforts and provide monetary funds to buy oxygen concentration devices.

Prominent mobile brands are also stepping in to ease the country’s stress where Xiaomi has pledged to donate Rs.3 crore for relief efforts, and Vivo plans to donate Rs.2 crore to support COVID-19 relief efforts and aid in the acquisition of oxygen concentrators. OnePlus took it to Twitter to address the issues of those faced with the virus’ crises and to those seeking help.

Coming to the vaccination, major FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) brand namely Procter & Gamble (P&G) has promised to contribute nearly Rs.50 crore while partnering with the government and local authorities in India. Also, it has announced to provide continual support through the supplies of products, in-house manufactured masks and sanitizers to not only help the marginalized communities but also the ‘COVID warriors’, who work tirelessly despite the risk of contracting the virus.

Legion of CEOs Lending their Strength
Another interesting aspect to add on to the support of India’s COVID-19 battle, a task force to mobilize capital for combating the second pandemic has been created by CEOs of the 40 largest companies in the United States. The group stated that in the next few weeks it will send 20,000 oxygen concentrators to India.

This time, the battle is quite a tough one to handle, as the second-wave of the virus is not only giving a hard time to India, but well-off countries as well. Although the number of cases seldom seems to go down and only keeps rising, it is indeed good to see that a lot of foreign and in-born companies and even a legion of CEOs coming together to lend a hand in their own manner. Even though riding of the virus seems to be a very long road ahead, but it certainly installs faith by the kind act of these companies during these tough times.

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