Corporates pull their weight in fight against Covid

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 28, 2021

Covid-19 patients inside a hospital in New Delhi (file photo)   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

From supplying oxygen to waiving shipping charges, India Inc steps up relief measures

Businesses are stepping up to help fight the pandemic through various initiatives.

For instance, in a bid to help with oxygen supply to treat Covid-19 patients, large Covid centres are being built on emergency basis around JSW Group’s steel plants. The company is laying a dedicated pipeline to supply gaseous oxygen directly to the patients. This will avoid the dependency on liquid oxygen.

Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director of JSW Group, which is the largest oxygen producing private steel company in the country, has committed to maximising the supply of oxygen from his plants. “If oxygen in such huge quantities cannot be taken to the patients, we must bring the patients closest to the oxygen source,” Jindal said.

On its part, HDFC Bank has converted three of its training centres based out of Bhubaneswar, Pune and Gurugram into isolation facilities. These facilities have been equipped with first line assistance and will have round the clock nurses and visiting doctors. Immediate medical help from a nearby hospital will be made available if required.

Adani Ports’ gesture

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has decided to waive off storage or handling charges for oxygen-related equipment, and also charges for ships exclusively carrying Covid-related equipment at its network of ports across India.

India’s biggest private port operator said it will also give priority berthing to ships carrying Covid-related equipment and cargo.

Support from Apple

Even global companies are chipping in. After Google and Microsoft, Apple has now extended its support to help with the relief efforts to fight Covid-19 in India.

“Amid a devastating rise of Covid cases in India, our thoughts are with the medical workers, our Apple family and everyone there who is fighting through this awful stage of the pandemic. Apple will be donating to support and relief efforts on the ground,” Tim Cook, CEO, Apple said in a tweet.

On Monday, Google had announced ₹135 crore in new funding for India to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment.

This includes ₹112 crore in Ad Grants to local health authorities and non-profits for more language coverage options.

P&G to back vaccination

Procter & Gamble will contribute towards the vaccination of over 5 lakh Indian citizens by pledging ₹ 50 crore in partnership with government and local authorities in India.

For every P&G employee in India, the company is contributing towards the vaccination of 100 Indians. In addition, the company will also cover the vaccination cost of its 5,000+ employee force in India, and their eligible immediate family members.

Madhusudan Gopalan, CEO, P&G Indian Subcontinent, said, “We recognise the urgent need for health experts, relief organisations, government and industries to come together as one in our fight against the pandemic. In the current situation and going forward, vaccines play a critical role in containing the spread ofthe virus. We strongly believe that partnering with various governments and local authorities, who are leading the inoculation initiatives for citizens will enable us to make a meaningful difference to the communities we operate in.”

Chinese phone maker OPPO India is donating 1,000 oxygenators and 500 breathing machines worth ₹4.3 crore to the Indian Red Cross Society and the Uttar Pradesh government to help in the fight against Covid. These machines will be delivered to the hospitals where the need is the highest.

LogiNext is in the process of launching a service in collaboration with over 50 delivery platforms in the country to help deliver oxygen cylinders, which should be ready to go live by early next week.

Published on April 27, 2021

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