Houston/Washington: Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella have assured help to India which is grappling with a ravaging coronavirus crisis. India logged Monday a staggering 3,52,991 new coronavirus infections. 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 Sundar Pichai said in a tweet Monday.
The new funding of USD 18 million includes two grants from Google’s philanthropic arm Google.Org totalling USD 2.6 million. The first grant will go to the organisation ‘GiveIndia’ to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses.
The second will go to UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it is needed most in India.
The funding also includes increased Ad Grant support for public health information campaigns. Google is supporting the Indian government in their vaccine communication strategy on YouTube . It is working to raise up authoritative information and reduce misinformation.
“I am hopeful that the situation will turn around for India soon. However, as we have learned over the course of this pandemic, hope is not enough. At Google we’ll continue to work with local governments, partners and communities to give people the tools to stay healthy and safe. We’ll get through this tough time together,” said Sanjay Gupta, the company’s Country Head & VP, India.
In another tweet, Microsoft 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. It will 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.
At the JFK Airport in New York, 318 Philips Oxygen Concentrators were loaded on the Air India plane headed to New Delhi.