Udayavni Special

Google, Microsoft’s Indian-American CEOs pledge support in India’s fight against COVID-19


PTI, Apr 26, 2021, 11:29 AM IST

 

Houston: Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella have assured help to India as the country grapples with a ravaging coronavirus crisis that has put enormous pressure on its hospitals due to a shortage of beds, oxygen and medical supplies.

India logged a record of 3,52,991 new coronavirus infections in a day on Monday, taking its total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,73,13,163. The death toll increased to 1,95,123 with a record 2,812 daily new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

“Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India. Google & Googlers are providing Rs 135 crore in funding to @GiveIndia, @UNICEF for medical supplies, orgs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information,” Indian-origin Google CEO Pichai said in a tweet.

In another tweet, Microsoft’s Indian-origin CEO Nadella said that his company will continue to use its resources and technology for relief efforts and support for buying oxygen devices.

Nadella said he was “heartbroken” by the current coronavirus situation in India.

“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,” he said.

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have assured India and its people of providing all assistance, including urgently sending necessary medical life-saving supplies and equipment, to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus crisis.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” Biden said in a tweet.

“The US is working closely with the Indian government to rapidly deploy additional support and supplies during an alarming COVID-19 outbreak. As we provide assistance, we pray for the people of India —including its courageous healthcare workers,” Harris tweeted.

Indian-American venture capitalist Vinod Khosla also tweeted: “I’m willing to fund hospitals in India that need funding to import bulk planeloads of oxygen or supplies into India to increase supply. Public hospitals/NGO’s also pls reach out.”

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’.

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.

The aircraft “with 4 cryogenic containers for storage of liquid O2 from Singapore landed at Panagarh airbase” in West Bengal on Saturday, a home ministry spokesperson tweeted.

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.

“Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/s Linde in shipping much-needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support, and cooperation,” the Indian mission in Riyadh tweeted on Sunday.

President of the European Council Charles Michel said in a tweet, “The EU stands in solidarity with Indian people amidst resurgent COVID19 pandemic. The fight against the virus is a common fight. We will discuss our support and cooperation at EU-India Leaders’ meeting on 8 May with @narendramodi and @antoniocostapm”. French President Emmanuel Macron has also extended support to India.

In a tweet shared by the Indian embassy in France, Macron said, “I want to send a message of solidarity to the Indian people, facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. France is with you in this struggle, which spares no one. We stand ready to provide our support.”

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