Corporates lend COVID-battered India a helping hand   

From airlifting key medical equipment to supplying medical oxygen to setting up hospitals, companies are pitching in like never before

Many companies have set up vaccination and testing centres to help their employees

In its worst hour of crisis, domestic and global corporate giants are showering India with all the help the country needs.

From airlifting key medical equipment to supplying medical oxygen to setting up hospitals, giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Tata, Reliance, JSW, and Adani Group are pitching in like never before.

According to a PTI report, many companies have set up COVID hospitals, airlifted cryogenic tankers from abroad for transporting medical oxygen and contributed funds to tackle the rising cases.

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To begin with, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced USD 18 million funds, while Amazon said 1,000 Medtronic ventilators would be delivered to India. Microsoft promised 1,000 ventilators and 25,000 oxygen concentration devices.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries tweaked manufacturing at its oil refineries to produce over 1,000 tonne of medical-grade liquid oxygen per day, besides setting up 1,875 hospital beds for free treatment of Covid patients in Jamnagar in Gujarat and Mumbai.

Apart from building large COVID care centres around its plants, the country’s largest steelmaker JSW has stopped manufacturing to produce hundreds of tonne of oxygen for hard-hit areas.

While Wipro and the Azim Premji Foundation converted one IT facility in Pune into a 430-bed makeshift hospital, Infosys has set up a 100-room COVID hospital in Bengaluru in association with Narayana Health, providing free care to the poor.

Many other companies too chipped in, with Cipla supporting Maharashtra in setting up Covid isolation ward, Vedanta setting up a field hospital in NCR, Adani Foundation building hospitals in Gujarat.

Tata Group made itself available 5,000 beds to COVID patients through its group companies and ITC set up a 200-bed makeshift hospital in West Bengal, that too in record 72 hours.

State Bank of India Group set up 1,000-bed makeshift hospitals, 250-bed ICU facilities and 1,000-bed isolation facilities across the country, while Coal India Ltd set up the largest number of Covid beds totalling 2,000, including 750 oxygen and 70 ICU beds.

Tech Mahindra supplied medical equipment, including ventilators, to over 20 hospitals and L&T Group offered to supply 22 oxygen generators to hospitals across India.

How India Inc is helping its employees

Meanwhile, Indian Inc is trying to help its employees with a series of confidence-building measures, including vaccination camps, testing centres, offering financial and medical aid.  Many corporates have had their employee insurance policies tweaked by covering COVID-related expenses, treatment and claims.

For instance, a report in Economic Times said, HDFC Life took initiatives like doctor-on-call, facilitation of COVID-19 vaccination, mediclaim e-cards, and hospitalization. Capgemini has a centralised, all-India command centre that addresses employees and their dependents’ medical emergencies and needs related to availability of hospital beds, ICU, ventilators, ambulance service, blood plasma donors, oxygen concentrators, and medicine requests, as per the ET report.

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