Industry giants come to India’s rescue
BENGALURU: Global and Indian companies are deploying industrial strength to help the world’s second-largest population fight the coronavirus, coming to the rescue of a public health system faltering under the weight of soaring infections and deaths.
Amazon.com, Intel, and Google, along with Indian companies Tata Sons, Reliance Industries, and JSW Steel, have ventured into everything from airlifting medical equipment and pledging funding to manufacturing medical oxygen.
“What we need is better planning by recognizing that government capacity is limited and therefore requires private participation,” said economist Madhura Swaminathan of the Indian Institute of Statistics of India. Bangalore.
Hospitals grappling with massive second wave of infections are turning patients away as beds and oxygen supplies run out, and social media is full of desperate calls for help to find oxygen supplies and medicines such as remdesivir.
A record increase in the number of deaths in the past 24 hours brought India’s death toll to more than 200,000 on Wednesday, a situation experts attribute to lack of oxygen supply and problems with infrastructure.
Amazon announced on Tuesday that it will ship 100 intensive care ventilation units to India from the United States.
It had previously worked with partners to airlift more than 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 ventilators from Singapore, leveraging its huge global logistics network to expedite purchases, a spokesperson said.
Google has pledged $ 18 million in new funding for India, including advertising support for public health campaigns.
India’s largest steelmaker by market value, JSW, has stopped manufacturing some of the construction raw material as it diverts resources to the production of liquid oxygen. From April 21 to 23, JSW supplied 898 tons of oxygen each day from its factories, which is equivalent to about 13% of the combined daily demand of 6,785 tons of vital gas in the 20 most affected states of the India.
JSW said it is building large COVID patient centers around its factories, so that they can be served via a pipeline.
Reliance Industries has tweaked the manufacture of its oil refineries to produce hundreds of tons of oxygen for hard-hit regions such as Maharashtra.
Tata Group imported 24 cryogenic containers to transport liquid oxygen, while its Tata Steel unit increased the oxygen supply.