Google and Microsoft lending their support to India’s COVID-19 fight

Google and Microsoft lending their support to India’s COVID-19 fight
Google and Microsoft CEOs Pichai and Nadella

India is battling one of the worst waves of infections since the pandemic started and corporations and countries are now rushing funds, supplies and aid to help the country manage the worsening crisis.

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CEOs of Google and Microsoft Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella have both pledged support this week to help India as the country grapples with the coronavirus that is ravaging hospitals due to the shortage of beds, oxygens and medical supplies.

Google is providing a grant equal to about US$18 million to help the population fight COVID-19. Many Google employees have also added to the fund.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, tweeted: "Devastated to see the worsening COVID crisis in India.”

Google announced that the GiveIndia programme will provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses.’  Global agency UNICEF will also utilise the funds from Google to get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it is needed most in India.

“We’ll continue to work with local governments, partners and communities to give people the tools to stay healthy and safe. We’ll get through this tough time together,” said Sanjay Gupta, Google’s Country Head & VP, India.

After the outbreak, Google revamped apps such as Google Maps and Google Search to include information on COVID-19 testing centres, vaccination centres, and other details issued by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

Microsoft CEO heartbroken

Microsoft CEO Nadella said he was ‘heartbroken’ by the current coronavirus situation in India.

He added that Microsoft will continue to use its resources and technology for relief efforts and support for buying oxygen devices.

"I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I'm grateful the US 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 said.

India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

To combat the growing demand for oxygen in the country, India has reached out to various countries to procure containers and oxygen cylinders under operation 'Oxygen Maitri'.

At press time, the Indian Air Force on Saturday brought four cryogenic tanks, to be used for transporting oxygen, from Singapore. The containers were airlifted from Singapore by C17 heavy-lift aircraft of the IAF.

Saudi Arabia is shipping 80 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen to India as the country is running low on supplies due to an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases.

The US meanwhile has pledged to provide raw materials required for manufacturing of the Covishield vaccine in India, as well as supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment.

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