In India, COVID-19 cases have been on the rise lately. In these difficult times, top tech companies Google, Microsoft and Amazon have decided to help the country in the fight against COVID-19. Google’s Sundar Pichai has already announced a relief fund of Rs. 135 crores. Microsoft’s Satya Nadela has also announced that the company will continue to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices. Amazon has also come forward to donate 10,000 oxygen concentrators to India.
Google Rs. 135 crore Relief Fund
The donation includes two grants from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, totalling Rs 20 crore. It also includes donations from Google’s ongoing employee giving campaign. So far more than 900 Googlers have contributed Rs 3.7 crore for organizations supporting high-risk and marginalized communities.
“The first is to GiveIndia to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses. The second will go to UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it’s needed most in India,” said Sanjay Gupta, Country Head and VP, Google India.
“We’re increasing our support today with an additional Rs 112 crore in Ad Grants to local health authorities and nonprofits for more language coverage options,” Gupta mentioned.
The Covid features on Search are available in India, in English and eight Indian languages, and the company said it is continuing to improve localization and highlight authoritative information.
“That includes information on where to get testing and vaccines; so far, Maps and Search surface thousands of vaccine sites, and we are working to add tens of thousands more. We’re also collaborating closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and with organisations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support vaccine awareness initiatives,” Google elaborated.
Microsoft announces relief aid
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims that the company is mobilising its resources to help the Covid-ravaged nation. “I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the U.S. government is mobilising to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices,” Nadella tweeted.
In a break from the ‘America First’ policy, President Joe Biden’s administration is “working round the clock” to immediately send India raw material needed for making Covishield and other products needed in the fight against the COVID-19 surge overtaking the nation, according to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
The US will also send India anti-COVID supplies like test kits, ventilators, medications and personal protective equipment used by frontline workers. The US is also deploying an expert team of public health advisors from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and USAID to work with the embassy in Delhi, India’s Health Ministry, and India’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.
Amazon donates oxygen concentrators
Amazon is donating 10,000 oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines to hospitals and public institutions to augment their capacity to help Covid-19 infected patients across multiple cities in India. Amazon has joined hands with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR) and other partners to urgently airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore.
Additionally, Amazon India is also procuring over 1,500 oxygen concentrators and other critical medical equipment in partnership with non-profits including Swasth, Concern India and impact organisations like ACT Grants and Sattva Consulting. The company said that the organisations are working closely with the Indian government to expedite the entry of these oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines into the country.
“We stand firmly with the country, deploying our global logistics network to urgently airlift the needed oxygen concentrators to support the nation’s immediate need,” said Amit Agarwal, Global SVP and Country Head, Amazon India.
Amazon will bear the cost of airlifting these oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines, procured through multiple funders including ACT Grants and PPCR from Singapore to India through Air India and other international carriers. Additionally, the company will also manage the movement of these oxygen concentrators and other donations from the local airport to identified hospitals and institutions.