How Global & Domestic Industries Lent a Helping Hand
While India is taking severe blows amidst the COVID-19 second wave, global as well as native corporate giants are stepping up to help differently. The companies are assisting with resources like producing medical oxygen, airlifting of medical equipment, and establishing hospitals to extend a public health system buckling under the weight of surging infections and deaths. As per company announcements and industry sources, well-known names, like Amazon, Google as well as Indian companies Tata Sons, Reliance Industries Ltd and Adani Group have established Covid hospitals, airlifted cryogenic tankers from overseas for transporting medical oxygen and financed funds to aid the Covid battle.
According to a report, India has registered more than 3,00,000 new daily COVID-19 cases for two weeks and stretched more than 4 lakh new daily cases over the weekend. The death rate is as well depressing, more than 2.42 lakh people have lost their lives because of the virus infection.
In last month, Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, declared USD 18 million in donations and Amazon has promised to deliver 1,000 Medtronic ventilators to India. Moreover, Microsoft stepped up to supply 1,000 ventilators and 25,000 oxygen concentration devices.
While Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries has been modified manufacturing its oil refineries to produce over 1,000 tonnes of medical-grade liquid oxygen at per day ratio - or over 11 per cent of India's total production. It would fulfil the requirements of closely every one in 10 patients. The firm has also arranged 1,875 hospital beds for free treatment of Covid patients in Jamnagar in Gujarat and Mumbai.
India's largest steelmaker JSW has also stopped manufacturing some steel products to produce hundreds of tonnes of oxygen for highly affected regions. It confirmed that it was building large COVID care centres close to its plants so that they could be serviced via a pipeline.
Whereas, Maharashtra government got the support of Cipla in building the Covid isolation ward. Vedanta has arranged a field hospital in Delhi NCR and Adani Foundation established hospitals in Gujarat and also rehabilitated the Adani Vidya Mandir school in Ahmedabad into an emergency COVID Care Centre with oxygen sustenance and catered food.
Although Wipro and Azim Premji Foundation transformed one IT facility in Pune into a 430-bed intermediary care Covid hospital. Infosys has established a 100 room Covid hospital in Bengaluru in connotation with Narayana Health, providing free care to the poor.
Tata Group has arranged about 5,000 beds available to Covid patients through its group firms and ITC has organized a 200-bed makeshift hospital in Kishore Bharati Stadium, given by the West Bengal government, for Covid patients in a record 72 hours.
Nevertheless, the state-owned State Bank of India has arranged 1,000-bed makeshift hospitals, 250-bed ICU facilities and 1,000-bed isolation facilities across the country, whereas Coal India Ltd inaugurated the largest number of Covid beds summing 2,000, counting 750 oxygen and 70 ICU beds.
Tata Group has also imported 1,000 cryogenic containers to carry liquid oxygen that are supplying 900 tonnes of oxygen every day to state government hospitals.
Even though Adani Group obtained 48 cryogenic tanks from leading manufacturers in countries like Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and UAE, Reliance airlifted 24 ISO (certified by the International Organization for Standardization) containers for transporting medical-grade liquid oxygen.
Tech Mahindra provided medical equipment, including ventilators, to over 20 hospitals and L&T Group commended to supplying 22 oxygen generators to hard-hit hospitals across India. Coal India also dedicated to installing 2 oxygen generating plants through its subsidiaries.
Walmart Foundation’s commitment to supporting India with the supply of about 20 oxygen generator plants and an equivalent number of cryogenic containers would highly desirable.
A host of corporates similarly contributed hundreds of crores of rupees to PM-Care and alternative funds simultaneously supplied PPE kits and medicines.