Global and Indian companies are mastering their industrial muscles to help the world’s second-largest population fight the coronavirus, coming to the aid of the public health system, which is twisting under the weight of growing infections and deaths.
Amazon,, Intel, and Googleas well as the Indian companies Tata Sons, Readingand JSW Steel have been involved in everything from air transport of medical equipment and promises of funding to receiving medical oxygen.
“What we need is better planning, recognizing that government capacity is limited and therefore requires private participation,” said economist Madhura Suminanathan of the Indian Statistical Institute in Bengaluru.
Hospitals battling a massive second wave of infections are pushing patients away as beds and oxygen supplies are depleted, and social media is full of desperate calls for help finding oxygen supplies and drugs like Remdesivir.
The record rise in deaths in the previous 24 hours led to the loss of 200,000 in India on Wednesday, a situation that experts blame for a lack of oxygen supply and infrastructure challenges.
In Tuesday, Amazon said it would send 100 intensive fan units to India from the United States.
It has previously worked with partners to transport more than 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 fans from Singapore, relying on its vast global logistics network to speed up deliveries, a spokesman said.
Google has pledged $ 18 million (approximately 130 kroner) for new funding for India, including advertising support for public health campaigns.
India’s largest steel producer by market value, JSW, has stopped producing some of the construction raw materials because it instead diverts resources to release liquid oxygen.
From April 21 to 23, JSW delivers 898 tonnes of oxygen daily from its plants, equivalent to about 13 percent of the combined daily demand for 6,785 tonnes of life-saving gas in India’s 20 most affected countries.
JSW said it is building large COVID patient centers around its plants so that they can be piped.
Billionaire At Mukesh Ambani Reliance Industries is changing production at its oil refineries to produce hundreds of tonnes of oxygen for affected areas such as Maharashtra, India’s richest and most severely affected country.
Tata Group, one of India’s oldest conglomerates, imported 24 cryogenic containers to transport liquid oxygen, while its Tata Steel unit boosted oxygen supplies.
“The government alone cannot deal with this crisis anymore, it is very important for the corporate sector to get moving,” said Kunal Kundu, an Indian economist at Societe Generale in Bengaluru.
“We need all the help we can get.”
The economist Suminanat called for the scope of the private sector contribution to be extended beyond the voluntary.
“Anyone who has a surplus of funds and equipment must intervene to help,” she added. “As for logistics, beds, oxygen, hospitals, the private sector must be asked to do its job as part of the policy.”
© Thomson Reuters 2021