How India Inc and startups are stepping up their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic

From chartering planes to help import oxygen cylinders to provide COVID-19-positive employees with meals to organising vaccination drives, India Inc and startups are coming together in every way to beat the deadly second wave.
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It has been a telling few weeks for India. From the first week of March 2021, when India was declared to be “in the endgame” of the COVID-19 pandemic, to recording the world’s highest number of daily cases, and now slowly seeing a decline in the number of cases reported, India’s pandemic narrative has been unprecedented and unimaginable. 

As of June 4, 2021, India recorded 2.85 crore cases of coronavirus. The Indian government has opened up vaccination registrations for all individuals above the age of 18 years, with inoculation having started from May 1.

In such dire times, hope is a powerful force. Nelson Mandela once said, “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronisingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”

With the second wave of COVID-19 proving to be fatal beyond imagination, India Inc and the Indian startup ecosystem have come together to continue igniting the ray of hope.

And now, experts are warning about a possible third wave even before the nation has recovered from the ravaging second wave.

In discussions with the YourStory team, several startup founders and corporate shared how they are trying to help the Indian startup ecosystem battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sistema.bio announces Rs 20 lakh COVID-19 financial package for employees and customers

Global biogas player Sistema.bio has rolled out a financial assistance package of Rs 20 lakh, which will cover the initial cost of treatment for its customers and employees affected by COVID-19.

This financial package will cover the expenses of the patient and their immediate family members including RT-PCR tests, doctor’s consultation, medication, and instruments prescribed such as thermometer, oximeter, etc. The Mexico-based company also announced that it will bear the cost of vaccination for all its employees across the country.

Essilor strengthens employee welfare practices to safeguard against COVID-19

Essilor has deployed multiple initiatives for those who are working as frontline responders and caregivers of COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure safety and security until the last mile, a 24X7 helpline has been created to support the infected employees and their family members to ensure timely help. Online medical consultation and pathological tie-ups initiated to limit the need of employees to go out and meet the doctor or get themselves tested.

The company ensured that at each major location, oxygen cylinders used in the manufacturing process were available to the employees for emergency use. A good number of oxygen concentrators were procured and distributed at all major locations. Safety kits in terms of masks, gloves, and sanitisers have been shipped to each employee’s home to ensure that they are well prepared when they step out after the lockdown.

Amazon to arrange free COVID-19 health insurance for its sellers in India

Amazon is arranging COVID-19 health insurance cover, completely free of cost for registered sellers on the Amazon.in marketplace, through Acko General Insurance Limited (Acko). Amazon will fully fund the premium cost for this group insurance policy that will be valid for one year after activation. 

Sellers with an active listing on Amazon.in between January 1 2020 and May 1 2021 can enrol themselves under the group policy to get coverage for COVID-19 hospitalisation and medical expenses up to Rs 50,000. In addition, the insurance policy will also cover domiciliary treatment expenses, as prescribed, up to the sum insured.

Amazon.in will open a 30-day enrolment window wherein eligible sellers can enrol themselves by providing basic personal particulars and KYC documents. No medical tests will be required for registration and opt-in. 

For each seller account, only one person may be covered under the insurance policy. Once the requisite details are processed, a Unique Health Identification (UHID) number will be issued post-registration to the marketplace sellers by Acko, which they can use to file their claims and reimbursements.

To claim reimbursement for COVID-19 related hospitalisation and treatment expenses, we will set up a mechanism to enable eligible sellers to apply directly to Acko. The claim under the policy will be payable for a seller who is enrolled under the policy and who tests positive for COVID-19 for the first time, after 15 days from the date of issuance of cover. Expenses incurred on co-morbidity in case of COVID-19 hospitalisation will be covered under the policy.

AU Small Finance Bank rolls out COVID-19 specific employee well-being programme

The bank will provide monetary compensation equal to 50 percent of the deceased employee’s fixed salary to the family for two years with a maximum cap of Rs 5,00,000. Another important step taken by the bank is allowing the vesting and exercise of unvested ESOPs of deceased employees which can be exercised by the heir. Both these measures aim to provide support to the families of employees who succumbed to COVID-19.

Additionally, the educational expenses of the deceased (due to COVID-19 and any other reason) employee’s children (up to two) will be borne by the bank on a need basis till they complete graduation. Under this scheme, the bank will disburse Rs 5,000 every month per child for pre-graduation and Rs 10,000 per month per child during graduation. 

This education corpus will be sponsored by the Sanjay and Jyoti Agarwal Foundation and the employees of AU Bank. The immediate family members of employees who have succumbed to COVID-19 on or after April 1, 2021, would be eligible for all these benefits.

The bank also has brought in a new initiative under the ‘prevention’ aspect wherein employees will be allowed to enrol their parents in Group Mediclaim Policy mid-term.

These benefits will be in addition to the support the bank already has been providing through life insurance, medical insurance, and other statutory benefits such as interest-free salary advance, paid COVID-19 leaves, and additional financial support for medical emergencies.

YourStory launches CoWIN slot notifier tool

YourStory’s CoWIN Slot Notifier tool helps you find an available slot on CoWIN and also sets up an email notification subscription. Built as an overnight hack, the tool was created to help you get notifications when a slot becomes available. The notifier links up with official databases every 30 minutes to search for slots, and automatically sends an email notification as soon as they become available.

Panasonic India sets up a COVID-19 relief fund

Panasonic India has set up a fund — in which all its employees have contributed their one day’s salary with the company matching their contribution — for dependents of employees who succumbed to COVID-19.

The company will continue to provide medical cover to the registered dependents of the employees under the Group Mediclaim Policy for three years.

It also created the Panasonic Covid Taskforce — an internal team to review the situation in real-time, ensure the health and mental well-being of employees. It is actively arranging tests, food, oxygen, hospitalisation, medicines, and insurance settlements for affected employees and their families.

Also, it has set up a Covid Treatment Centre at its factory to take care of employees, with O2 concentrates, cylinder, 24X7 nurses and doctors-on call to take care of emergency cases.

Bada Business sets up free vaccination centre for employees and their families

Edtech startup Bada Business recently set up a two-day, free of cost, vaccination camp for its employees, along with families, at the company’s head office in Okhla, New Delhi. The company has partnered with Fortis Healthcare Limited for this initiative. So far, over 300 people have been administered the first dose of Covaxin.

All employees, ranging from full-time to contract, as well as interns, are covered in the drive. The second dose of the vaccine will be rolled out by the third week of June.

It also launched a fundraiser campaign #IamOxygenMan, in association with Vivek Oberoi, the Kailash Kher Foundation and ISKCON foundation. Within the first day of the launch, the campaign was able to raise a commitment of over Rs 7.5 crore, which will be used to fulfil the healthcare requirements for COVID-19 patients nationally. 

 

The collections are also slated to increase the bed capacity in a Covid-care facility that Bada Business had lately initiated in association with ISKCON, from 200 to 2,000 beds, in Dwarka, Delhi. The facility is known for providing all-inclusive care to Covid patients; from providing a dedicated team of doctors and nurses, to catering to the nutritional needs, everything is being served to the patients entirely free of cost.

Andamen pledges to donate their 10 percent sales towards oxygen relief 

Through its Hope initiative, Andamen pledges to donate 10 percent of its sales to Hemkunt Foundation, starting May 26 to June 8. This donation drive goes live on https://www.andamen.com/ this week. Further, the brand is also thanking citizens who have donated directly to Hemkunt Foundation from April 1 with a 25 percent of their donation as store credit. 

Alongside, the homegrown startup has started a voluntary one-day salary donation drive amongst all its employees, across the hierarchy of the organisation.

Haqdarshak launches chatbot to ease COVID-19 information access

Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited (HESPL) has launched a WhatsApp-based chatbot in Hindi and English. The goal of the chatbot is to ease information access about COVID-19 vaccines, relief schemes for individuals and MSMEs, health insurance, and the settlement of claims.

 

Smartphone usage is now widespread among small business owners, migrants, daily wage earners, the urban poor and rural Indians. At present, the chatbot provides information on vaccinations, insurance schemes and a few specific COVID-19 relief schemes in Hindi as well as English. 

The chatbot will support new languages over the next six months. The chatbot can be accessed by sending a message to +91 93073 05995 or through this link. Further, users are also redirected to Haqdarshak’s multilingual support helpline for vaccine registrations and scheme applications.

TESSOL offers solutions for vaccine delivery during the pandemic

Mumbai-based cold chain logistics startup TESSOL has launched a highly sophisticated solution for vaccine delivery across the country to aid the massive vaccination drive undergoing in India to check the COVID 19 pandemic. 

TESSOL Solutions will allow pharma companies/logistics providers to offer end-to-end transportation of vaccine packages — from source to end customers — without breaking the cold chain up in a highly temperature-controlled environment

Omidyar announces Rs 26 Cr grant for two NGOs towards COVID relief

Impact investing firm Omidyar Network India has announced a Rs 26 crore grant for COVID relief work to be equally shared between two non-government organisations (NGOs).

The firm will be extending a Rs 13 crore grant each to Give Foundation, a platform dedicated to donations, and United Way Bengaluru for their efforts on COVID relief, 

Give Foundation will utilise the funds for strengthening the capacity of institutions, healthcare staff, volunteers, and caregivers, focus on underserved rural areas and encourage retail donors to contribute by matching their funding.

Paytm’s #OxygenforLife campaign gets Rs 10 Crore worth donations

Paytm has recently launched #OxygenforLife initiative through ‘Paytm Foundation’. Paytm Foundation is a Public Charitable Trust formed exclusively for philanthropic purposes in the areas of providing relief in times of natural calamities and disasters. 

As mentioned by the company in its blog post, the initiative received Rs 10 Crore worth donations from users. 

“We lived up to our word and doubled the total amount to Rs 25 Crore. We are grateful for the support we got from our partners American India Foundation (AIF), Elevation Capital and others,” mentioned the blog.

These funds will be utilised for immediate and long-term relief measures.

Tata Steel to continue salary for families of employees who die of covid

Tata Steel has announced social security schemes for the family members of employees affected by COVID-19. The company announced that under the scheme, if an employee dies of Covid, their family would receive their last-drawn salary till the time the employee would have turned 60. They will also be able to avail medical benefits and housing facilities. In addition to this, if a frontline employee gets infected while on the job and dies, the company will bear all the expenses of their children's education till they graduate. 

Visionet establishes a dedicated helpline for employees to call anytime

Due to the pandemic, people have felt socially isolated and alone and at times it gets lonely where they need someone to talk to. Visionet Systems has set up a dedicated helpline for its employees. The helpline is for them to talk and share anything that is concerning and affecting them negatively.

The company provides free access to mental health professionals, via phone or text, through their Employee Assistance Program. They have also empanelled a network of ambulances and doctors for their employees. For mental health care they have designed spiritual awareness sessions for their employees through yoga and have hired professionals for these sessions.

We The Future raises $50K in a global fundraiser 

Clubhouse (CH) that recently went live over android across the globe has seen the surge in raising hope of humanity and helping hands by raising a fund of $50k within a week through a Global Speaker and Live Music Fundraising Event, championed by Kunal Sood, founder of We The Future, a global social impact organisation.

 

Organised by WeTheFuture (WTF) and the CH community, the innovative audio-only fundraiser is committed to #United4India to unite people on the ground, journalists, medical experts, artists, musicians, DJs, poets, entrepreneurs, mothers, humanitarians, filmmakers, and more to drive awareness, mobilise resources, and fundraise to support the most vulnerable that have been hit the hardest during India’s second wave of coronavirus crisis.

 

The fund is dispersed via a pledge to the vetted NGOs, including GiveIndia, Oxygen for India, Chopra Foundation, Desai Foundation, UNICEF, and SeeSchool, using charity navigator and trusted sources on the ground. The proceeding is to help the individuals needing services such as oxygen, hospital beds, medicines, COVID-19 home care and doctor consultations. WeTheFuture’s initiative comes as a rescue for those who are left with no means to seek help.

Startups get together to launch ‘COVIDASHA’, a technology shot to battle the 2nd wave of the pandemic

CovidAsha, a chatbot platform on the Web, WhatsApp and Telegram, is a unique initiative by conversational automation company Engati, and healthcare ecosystem players like Pharmeasy, VMedo, StanPlus and The Better India, with WhatsApp providing the platform.   

 

CovidAsha was born out of a need to impact and resolve challenges faced during the ongoing pandemic like patients losing critical time due to unverified information available on Social Media and an increase in cases of scams and frauds, including hoarding of critical healthcare supplies. 

 

Suppliers have been overwhelmed by desperate calls and have had to eventually switch off their phones. Another ominous challenge would be the spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Tier II and Tier III cities and towns, who have little or no access to updated information due to language barriers.

 

Since its launch on the 4th of May 2021, CovidAsha has been accepted by teams from HP, Google and VMWare to name a few, and has added more than 3500 active users and over 20,000 interactions on the chatbot. The bot is also live in 7 different regional languages thereby increasing the access of resources for people in Tier II and Tier III locations. 

 

The chatbot offers access to relevant and verified suppliers in under 2 minutes of a conversation and has been endorsed and marked as ‘helpful’ by over 3000 people. People can access a network of over 20,000 verified suppliers and affiliates on the platform, and more are being added daily by the chatbot itself. 

 

In addition, CovidAsha has a strong volunteer team of over 400 medical and paramedical professionals and students across 65 cities in India. 

wellOwise launches vaccine slot finder

wellOwise, an AI-based precision healthcare startup has introduced two special initiatives as app-integrated features. The startup has launched a unique Vaccine Slot Finder for both its IOS and Android Apps which work on a pincode/district free model. Based on the user's location, it finds the available slots within a particular radius. Users also have the option to expand their search radius if they are unable to find a suitable slot within their neighbourhood.

In addition to this, wellOwise has also launched a special evidence-based personalised diet and supplementation programme for people recovering from COVID-19, called 'ReCOVerwise'. While it may take anywhere from 3-6 months for people to fully recover from long Covid, ReCOVerwise aims to fulfil the nutritional requirements necessary for recovery.

It uses an evidence-based approach to tackle the symptoms of long Covid using dietary and supplement recommendations. Additionally, 30 percent revenue of this particular programme will go to various charities that have been contributing towards Covid Relief Campaigns.

HYPD Store opens its live stream for mental health professionals

As a product feature, HYOD Store has developed a ‘Live Commerce’ section, where users can interact and shop directly from the live session. It was designed for the consumers who were adapting to the behaviour of See It, Like It, Buy It; from shop worthy content and fandomisation of content creators.

However, till the second wave flattens the curve, its Live Commerce feed shall be used to offer help and comfort to anyone who is trying to cope up with what’s happening all around. The startup is bringing together mental health professionals, musicians, performers, who would give users a safe space to talk, listen, or simply have a moment of peace.

Spinny collaborates with 1MG labs for providing on the spot RT-PCR test

Online pre-owned car retailing platform Spinny has collaborated with 1MG Labs for providing an on-the-spot RT-PCR test facility, the company said on Monday. Under the partnership, Spinny will provide delivery trucks, used to deliver cars to its customers, to 1MG Labs to conduct speedy on-the-spot drive-through collections in some sectors of Gurgaon and at select locations in Delhi and Bengaluru

Amazon India to offer COVID-19 financial support for frontline teams

Amazon India has launched a COVID-19 Relief Scheme (CRS) under which it will provide financial assistance to frontline teams of associates hired through staffing agencies and other eligible employees with a COVID-19 allowance and additional hospital reimbursement.

The COVID-19 allowance is a one-time grant per employee of Rs 30,600 for in-house COVID care, medical equipment, or medication-related expenses, Amazon India said in a blog.

If employees exceed their maximum insurance cover due to COVID-19 related hospitalisation expenses, Amazon India will also additionally reimburse insurance-approved hospital expenses up to Rs 1.9 lakh, it added.

Diaspora doctors, professionals launch 'Project Madad' 

A voluntary group of doctors and professionals from the diaspora in the US and India has launched a unique initiative that will provide virtual time-sensitive information to healthcare workers in rural areas on treating COVID-19 patients, real-time details on hospital bed availability and counter vaccine misinformation.

Project Madad has been created with a mission that proper education and training of local healthcare workers and Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) will be fundamental in controlling COVID-19 spread in rural India.

Diageo pledges Rs 45 Cr to support India's public health infrastructure for COVID-19

Under the initiative, the company will help nodal government hospitals in 21 districts to set up Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants to create long-term oxygen capacity, Diageo said in a statement.

Moreover, Diageo will also provide state governments with fully equipped, prefabricated 16-bed mini-hospital units with PSA oxygen plants in the 15 most critical districts.

Indian tech cos join hands to make open source-based oxygen concentrators

A group of small and medium Indian technology companies and a defence PSU have joined hands to manufacture oxygen concentrators based on an open-source design project Marut, initiated by robotic and automation startup Technido to meet the immediate need of patients and reduce dependency on imports.

According to the companies involved in the project, the oxygen concentrator (OC) with 10 litres per minute flow with a purity of above 93 percent and capability to operate round-the-clock can be retailed at about half the price of imported units in the range of Rs 65,000-70,000 per piece.

The prices can further reduce to Rs 35,000-40,000 apiece on bulk purchase of 100 units or more, according to Technido. The commercial rollout of the product is expected by the third week of June.

Dr Reddy's working on new treatment options for COVID-19

Drug major Dr Reddy's Laboratories is working on the development of new treatment options for COVID-19 patients, which it aims to launch over the next few months while ensuring uninterrupted supplies of its existing range of products for the infectious disease in the market, according to a top company official.

The Hyderabad-based drug major has already launched the Sputnik V vaccine while partnering with various organisations, including the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Sonu Sood joins hands with Dhani to distribute 25 lakh free COVID Care Health Kits

This kit has been packaged as per the recommendation by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and will be helpful in the initial preventive care of COVID 19. The kit consists of a monthly course of medicines to boost one's immunity through Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Zinc and Paracetamol in case of fever or body ache. In his Instagram post, the actor urged his fans to order their preventive care kit for free from the Dhani website or app.

Elsevier launches India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub

Elsevier, a global information and analytics business, launched its India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub for frontline healthcare workers and members of the public in India. It offers the latest evidence-based information along with information on the management and prevention of the virus, thereby limiting the spread of misinformation.

The Hub contains the latest fact-based information on COVID-19, including approved treatments and guidelines, along with other useful tools to help doctors, nurses and healthcare workers provide patient care.

It also aims to meet the increasing need for standardised, credible, and accurate information around the pandemic, to allow healthcare professionals to provide consistent and safe patient care.

[24]7.ai rolls out initiatives to help its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic

Over the last few months, [24]7.ai has rolled out a host of initiatives to keep employees and their families safe as well as take care of those in need of support. 

The company has set up email and phone helplines for its employees and their families to reach out for any COVID-19 related support and guidance. The company has also partnered with hospitals to set up temporary Covid Care Centers, to support employees, their families in this time of urgent need. Insurance-[24]7.ai also provides all its employees with insurance to financially help them in case they or their family members test positive for any strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Apart from this, the company has undertaken several initiatives for the community such as food, essentials and stationery donations, distributing safety masks to the needy followed by Techforall, an initiative under which teams collected computers in good condition and donated them to several dozens of such families. The computers were loaded with hardware and software necessary for online education. 

Honeywell setting up COVID care centres in 5 states

Technology firm Honeywell on Friday said it will be setting up COVID-19 care centres and critical care facilities across five states.

The company has partnered with the governments of Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka and Uttarakhand to help tackle the ongoing pandemic.

As part of this initiative, Honeywell said it is also donating 1,000 oxygen concentrators, 50 ventilators, 10,000 N95 respirators, and 2,500 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to various government and private hospitals.

Zomato begins vaccination drive for its employees and delivery partners

In one of the largest efforts of its kind, Zomato is facilitating a free and safe vaccination drive for more than 150,000 of our frontline staff and employees. 

“Thousands of our delivery partners are already vaccinated,” said founder Deepinder Goyal in a tweet.

SIS India announced ‘Humare Heroes COVID Welfare Fund’ 

With a workforce of 2.30 lakh personnel, SIS Ltd. Is managing the crisis in India by working with partners across hospitals, NGOs, and Government Institutions to keep the healthcare machinery of the country running and at the same time, ensure the safety of the personnel.

The company has conducted an employee vaccination drive of 1,02,008 employees so far, created a Rs 10 crores covid welfare fund, established SOS groups across 20 cities and have announced Rs 4 lakhs of compensation in case of loss

Paytm Insider to initiate Fundraiser Week from 24th – 30th May to mobilise relief efforts 

As part of the program, Paytm Insider will offer its platform for free to creators/organisers for hosting events to raise awareness and funds for a charity of their choice. The fundraiser week is scheduled from 24th to 30th May inviting various creators & artists to support the cause.

 

More than 50 creators, organisations, artists have already onboarded and many more are coming forward to be part of this campaign. More than 30 events across different genres will be hosted on the platform. Some prominent organisations like Terrance Lewis’ Professional Training Institute, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Kommune, Tape a Tale, Theatre Nama etc. will host fundraiser events.

Dozee launches the MillionICU initiative 

Dozee announced the launch of MillionICU, an initiative to address the massive shortage of ICU beds and staff in public hospitals. The initiative will raise funds to upgrade normal beds in government hospitals across India into step-down ICUs, using Dozee’s contactless sensor, in under five minutes and enable remote and central monitoring of patients at the ward level. 

 

It aims to enable hospitals to tide over the current COVID-19 crisis in the short term and bring about a rapid, long-term transformation in India’s public healthcare infrastructure. 

 

The company has set an audacious goal of installing 50,000 step-down ICU beds across India in the next six months, and take the figure to one million in the next three years. The initiative has already benefitted 25 hospitals across 15 districts, with more than 10,000 patients being monitored and having saved 25,000+ nursing hours. 

Dozee will also be setting up a 24x7 Central Monitoring Cell which will enable healthcare staff to monitor multiple patients remotely who were previously monitored manually only every couple of hours. The central monitoring cell helps in saving crucial nursing hours and on average, Dozee saves around 30 minutes of nursing time per patient per day. 

SAP announces multiple COVID-19 relief measures

SAP has augmented its COVID Emergency Fund by adding another €3 million for a total of €6 million towards relief efforts. Of this, Rs 17 crore is to support colleagues and their families in India and the local communities.

 

On Tuesday, May 18, a consignment from SAP Germany consisting of ventilators, respiratory humidifiers and the full-face mask was handed over to the Department of Health, Government of Karnataka. The value of this consignment is approx Rs 10 crore.

 

SAP is working with the district collector of Rural Bengaluru to strengthen the healthcare and public health systems in four taluks of rural Bengaluru. SAP has been mobilising 50 oxygen concentrators for four taluk hospitals. Further, SAP has been creating make-shift hospitals, which would extend critical care unit with 100 beds, in Doddaballapura.

Harappa launches a new initiative ‘Tenacity’ in times of crisis

Harappa has recently launched TENACITY—a 30-day resilience journey. The month-long initiative leverages collective insights and a wealth of lived wisdom across Harappa faculty and their self-paced courses. 

The free-for-all initiative aims to equip people with tools, frameworks, and reassuring advice from experts; and help one look beyond adversity and build resilience. 

 

Interested individuals can sign up for the initiative to receive something unique in their inbox every day: a video clip, a tool, an invite to a live webinar, and more. Harappa hopes to help the community navigate these unprecedented times, with this initiative. Those interested can sign up here: https://bit.ly/3eSnbJb

Livspace launches the LivCare programme 

To help employees get the best possible support during these challenging times, Livspace has recently launched the LivCare programme. It strives to bring an ecosystem of supportive resources for financial, emotional, physical, mental, and medical needs. 

 

Along with other measures, up to two months of salary can be claimed as an advance by Livspace employees to help tide over COVID-19 related emergency medical expenses. To help employees and freelance partners cope with emotional and mental stress arising as a part of this pandemic, the company will be providing access to free one-on-one counselling services through our wellness partners to help them strike a balance and focus. 

 

Resources will be extended to help employees focus on their physical wellbeing through stay at home, online meditation, and yoga sessions.

OakNorth goes extra mile to help government and COVID-19 warriors

OakNorth has set up a support mechanism through which it has donated 100 cylinders to the Uttarakhand government and 10 oxygen concentrators, along with 45 oxygen cylinders to the Delhi government. The company is also involved in many other initiatives aimed at supporting local governments to assist the underprivileged during these challenging times. 

Khabri announces Unlimited Leave policy for its employees; advances payday by 30 days

As a part of the new policy, there will be no leave restriction for all Khabri employees as they will be able to enjoy unlimited annual leaves throughout the year. The podcast-based platform has also advanced the payday of its employees by 30 days. 

IndiQube to help COVID-19 patients 

IndiQube is providing free food to families of COVID-19 positive employees of its clients and its own employees and support staff. It is planning for COVID-19 vaccination drive and is exploring multiple partnerships. Also, it has launched a Covid Care Center in one of its properties to cater to instant quarantine and isolation needs for frontline staff as their homes may not be conducive for isolation.

OYO announces COVID-19 bereavement support 

OYO announced a slew of welfare benefits for the families of OYOpreneurs deceased due to COVID-19 as part of its bereavement support. In the unfortunate event of the death of an employee due to COVID-19, the company will support the family of the deceased with eight months pay in full and a term insurance payout which equals three years of their annual pay. 

 

OYO will also sponsor the education of the employee’s children (up to two) and extend medical coverage of up to Rs 3 lakh for the spouse and children for a period of five years.

 

Besides statutory benefits, the employee’s legal heirs/nominee will be granted an opportunity to liquidate and settle the vested options or exercised shares upon the occurrence of the next liquidity event.

Swiggy begins vaccination drive for delivery partners, frontline staff

Swiggy has begun the COVID-19 vaccination drive in Bengaluru for its delivery partners and frontline staff from its grocery delivery service Instamart and its brand kitchens by the vaccination guidelines of the government. 

 

Swiggy will enable quick and free vaccine access and cover the loss of pay for the period the delivery partner spends in getting both the doses. If partners choose to get vaccinated at a government facility, Swiggy will continue to cover the loss of pay for that period. 

One4care partners with ACT Grants to supply oxygen concentrators

One24care has partnered with ACT Grants, a non-profit organisation to supply oxygen concentrators to alleviate the immediate need for oxygen across the country. Its mission is to supply 50,000+ oxygen concentrators across India. Moreover, the team want to make the longest chain to immediately distribute oxygen food, and groceries for needy families.

Huawei to set up 50-bed COVID-19 care facility in Gurugram

Telecom gear maker Huawei India said it will set up a 50-bed COVID-19 medical care facility in Gurugram in partnership with a local medical institution.

Besides, the company is facilitating the availability of 400 oxygen concentrators, 400 contactless remote vital parameter monitoring devices, 25 HFNC CPAP oxygen therapy systems, and other medical supplies worth Rs 5 crore for public hospitals, makeshift hospitals, and other facilities for COVID-19.

Huawei India has also set up an emergency team to handle all COVID-19-related concerns of employees and their dependents and provide them hospitalisation support.

It has arranged for emergency beds with oxygen support in partnership with leading hospitals for employees and their dependents.

It is also contributing to meal support for more than 18,000 government school children whose families are affected by COVID-19.

Omega Seiki Mobility invests Rs 100 Cr to build COVID-19 infra

Omega Seiki Mobility has said it is investing Rs 100 crore to set up dedicated hospitals, molecular labs for COVID-19 testing, in collaboration with overseas partners as well as oxygen plants as part of its aim to augment healthcare infrastructure in the country amid the pandemic.

Omega Seiki, which is part of the Anglian Omega group, also announced the opening of a dedicated free-of-cost COVID-19 hospital in Faridabad on Thursday, which is equipped with oxygen, in partnership with the Haryana government.

The company has airlifted oxygen concentrators from South Korea, which can cater to 30 patients at a time in this hospital, to assist in taking care of COVID-19 patients.

Colive to provide 25,000 free meals to delivery workers in Bengaluru

Co-living operator Colive will provide 25,000 free meals to delivery workers in Bengaluru as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company launched 'SaluteTheHero' campaign, under which it aims to provide 25,000 free meals for 'delivery heroes' for 25 days at more than 10 locations in Bengaluru.

The initiative has been conceptualised to thank delivery workers who are active on the field during the COVID-19 pandemic, it said. Free meals will be served between 12 pm and 2 pm by showing their ID card for proof.

TravClan launches platform for verified information on COVID-19 support services

TravClan has created a platform called 'letshelpeachother.in' which provides information around COVID-19 resources to those in need. Through the platform, people will be able to find hospital beds, ventilators, plasma donors, oxygen cylinder and concentrator suppliers, medication/injections, ambulances, and even food/dabba services for patients recovering at home.

TravClan will also provide COVID-19 vaccination centre listings on websites of 2,000+ travel agents spread across the country. This also includes details such as — availability of vaccines, which brand of vaccine is being administered at each centre, and other vaccine-related information and protocols.

The initiative is expected to help the network of travel agents educate people about vaccination, especially in smaller towns where the second wave has hit the hardest and awareness about vaccines remains low.

Bajaj Finserv launches assistance programme for families of deceased employees

Bajaj Finserv has announced a new comprehensive family assistance programme to extend support and financial assistance to families of employees who have passed away due to the COVID pandemic.

This programme -- Together as One -- aims to support their children's education till graduation, provide financial assistance to such families as well as extended medical insurance coverage, a release said.

The initiative is being rolled out across Bajaj Finserv and its companies -- Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Bajaj Housing Finance, Bajaj Finserv Health, Bajaj Financial Securities, Bajaj Finserv Markets and Bajaj Holdings & Investment. It will be effective retrospectively from April 1, 2020.

DB Schenker partners with NGO for setting up an oxygen plant in Delhi hospital

The oxygen plant, which is being set up in Delhi, will assist in increasing the ICU and oxygen beds, D B Schenker said in a release on Tuesday. The company is also providing COVID-19 insurance cover to all the employees and has introduced several health initiatives.

Recently, DB Schenker in the UK supported India with an urgent free-of-cost shipment of 375 oxygen concentrator units to the Indian Red Cross in Delhi. The company has launched a COVID taskforce with over 60 volunteers who are working to support the employees and their families with medical assistance.

This includes the availability of beds, oxygen, diagnostics tests including RT-PCR, oxygen concentrators for those in need and ambulances for the employees and their families.

Bada Business’ #IamOxygenMan fundraiser campaign raises a commitment of over 7.5 Crores for Covid-relief

Edtech startup Bada Business launched a fundraiser campaign #IamOxygenMan, in association with Vivek Oberoi, the Kailash Kher Foundation and ISKCON foundation. Within the first day of the launch, the campaign was able to raise a commitment of over 7.5 crores, which will be used to fulfil healthcare requirements for COVID patients nationally.

 

Recently, Bada Business, in association with ISKCON, had launched a 200-beds makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients in Dwarka, Delhi. With this campaign, Bada Business aims to increase the bed capacity from 200 to 2000 beds. 

Cashaa gears up to fight starvation during pandemic

Cashaa - a crypto-friendly neo banking group, has announced an initiative called ‘crypto for covid ‘. Through this, the startup aims to build a community of crypto enthusiasts wherein each organisation or enthusiast operating can adopt an underprivileged family and provide them with food supplies for a month. Under the initiative, Cashaa team is also providing curated ration kits that can feed a family of 4 for up to 2 weeks.

 

The initiative has already enabled support for many families in Rajasthan. Mr Kumar Gaurav has personally pledged to support 1000 families on date to begin the initiative, after which these families are getting the benefits and hope until the lockdown ends. To grow this initiative. Cashaa India has decided to extend the support to 2000 more underprivileged families in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

 

The initiative has seen interest from foreign crypto players also to support the cause in India. Cashaa aims to gradually reach the kind of community strength to support at least one 100,000 families under the initiative at the earliest. The brand has also launched a helpline number to facilitate the initiative in a better way. The helpline number is 8239411411.

World University of Designs a super protective mask

Prof. Umair Khan of World University of Design along with his students and some staff members have come up with a face mask that not just covers the nose, mouth and chin but envelops them snugly. The mask has a specially designed extension that's the USP of the mask, as it follows the contours around the nose and covers it completely. This ensures that the vents around the nose are blocked offering extra protection preventing the air from outside to slip in. 

 

The second most important outcome of the design is that it does not allow vapours from the breath to be expelled out and fog up the spectacles thereby making it extremely functional for persons wearing glasses. Thirdly, the design makes the mask a very comfortable one to be worn for long hours without needing to adjust it time and again as it follows the contours.

Made with two layers of simple cotton fabric, the mask took a week to reach its final version after trials and feedback from volunteers. 

Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) announces Covid-19 relief initiatives

Contributing towards Covid-19 relief efforts, the company has collaborated with C-CAMP (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms), the German Consulate, Bengaluru, Rhenus Logistics, and Nayonika Eyecare Charitable Trust to procure 110 oxygen concentrators for the hospitals in Karnataka.

Some of the initiatives to support MBRDI employees in staying safe and healthy during the ongoing global pandemic include:

  • Covering the cost of Covid-19 vaccination for all its 6000 employees in India, as well as their dependents.
  • As part of the Covid-19 home isolation care programme, the company has tied up with Apollo Clinic to provide all-paid medical care and advisory services for two weeks. 
  • Covid Kawach, an additional insurance cover exclusively for Covid-19 treatment, focusses on a health plan with comprehensive coverage for the employees as well as their dependents.
  • As part of its #TogetherWeCan initiative, the company has launched an in-house, virtual response taskforce called the Covid-19 Warriors. The programme has seen an uproar of support from MBRDI employees volunteering to go above and beyond in assisting colleagues in distress.
  • A command centre with a 24x7 helpline is set up to provide virtual medical teleconsultation, end-to-end guidance on the doorstep RT-PCR swab collection, and information on hospitals and emergency services providing medical assistance to Covid-19 patients.
  • To support and ensure mental and emotional wellbeing, the company’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) has stepped up its focus on prevalent topics employees reach out for free counselling on.
  • MBRDI also plans to offer free 3 healthy meals delivery to the employees and their families affected by Covid-19 or in quarantine.   

 Myntra provides ‘COVID-19 relief’ measures to help marketplace brand partners

 Myntra is offering all its 2000 marketplace brand partners a special COVID insurance, with a coverage of up to Rs 300,000. In addition to this, Myntra is also reimbursing COVID vaccination costs for the partners and two of their family members.

Apart from offering the above medical benefits, Myntra is extending operational support to the brand partners, such as relaxing order fulfilment turnaround time (customer order to arrival at logistics centre/station) from 24 hours to 48 hours. 

Seller Protection Fund (SPF), the window within which the sellers make claims against returned products has been extended from 14 to 45 days. Myntra has also waived all order cancellation charges for the brand partners, for April and May and an extension of this waiver will be considered based on the situation on the ground.  

Myntra has set out to vaccinate its frontline staff including the delivery workforce free of cost at its office premises, apart from its own employees and has also extended home care support, including teleconsultations, diagnostic and pharmacy support, to third-party employees as well. 

HCL extends COVID-19 mitigation outreach to UP, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states

HCL has extended its COVID-19 mitigation efforts across the country to include Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and other states.

 

These efforts include a 100-bed COVID-19 treatment facility (including 50 oxygen beds) at the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), Greater Noida. In Lucknow, HCL has provided six ICU ventilators, 20 oxygen beds and a mini oxygen generator plant (capacity of 45 LPM) to Fatima Hospital.

 

In addition to these, HCL is supporting an L-1 COVID Care Facility, as well as the District Hospital in Hardoi, with essential equipment and consumables. A 24x7 Integrated Control Centre set up and supported by HCL at Gautam Buddha Nagar during the first wave, continues to respond to citizen queries in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.

 

In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, HCL has provided 30 ICU beds at St John’s Hospital in Bengaluru, safety gear and PPE for frontline workers in Madurai and Chennai, as well as essential medical and non-medical equipment for institutions treating COVID-19 in Chennai.

 

HCL has also collaborated with local municipal bodies to spearhead vaccination centres in cities and towns, including Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Madurai, Lucknow, and J&K

Wadhwani Foundation announces $1 million in grants to help Indian families impacted by COVID-19

For phase I of these grants, Wadhwani Foundation has selected the following charities and partners:

  • WISH Foundation: The Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare
  • Goonj: Rahat COVID 2021
  • American Indian Foundation: #AIFCOVID19Response
  • Indiaspora: Chalo Give initiative

Wadhwani Foundation established a set of criteria to select charities/NGOs based on the ability to deliver immediate relief to patients and families, and measure the impact of the relief. These include:

  • The ability to immediately reduce the devastating impact and slow the spread of COVID-19 in India over the next month by providing medical resources to clinics or homes.
  • Deliver direct relief benefits, including medical assistance, food, and loans/grants to affected patients and families.
  • Organisations with more than five years of experience in the healthcare, basic-needs support space with highly developed existing infrastructure to immediately deploy to target groups.

Betterplace launches COVID-19 tracker

Betterplace’s all-in-one lifecycle management platform will enable enterprises to track and mitigate covid risks among its employee base.

The new feature enables employers to create employee tags for statuses such as COVID-19 positive/negative, symptomatic, temperature readings, home or institutional quarantine, hospitalisation status, vaccination status, and co-morbidities update. The tag can be modified by either the HR personnel or the employee. 

After the tags are assigned, employees can track them and update their status on a chatbot. These tags will also enable organisations to help employees by tracking employee requirements for oxygen, hospital beds, or ICU. All these features will also help enterprises to track their employee well-being and plan the vaccination drives for them.

Cashfree rolls out CovidCareProgram for employees

Cashfree has announced a host of initiatives to help employees with COVID-19 care, including unlimited leaves for its employees who contract the virus. Under this policy, any employee suffering from COVID-19 can avail of unlimited paid leaves until they are ready to resume work. 

 

The company has also announced unlimited paid leaves for COVID-19 family care. Cashfree employees can avail these leaves if their family members have been afflicted by COVID-19 and need care. 

 

If employees or their immediate family members test positive for COVID-19, Cashfree offers an advance in salary for incidental expenses, in addition to the group medical insurance cover. Going a step further, in addition to covering the costs of COVID-19 diagnosis test, expenses up to Rs 25,000 incurred by employees during home quarantine and hospitalisation for themselves and their family will be reimbursed by Cashfree.

This can be used for tests, consultations with doctors, dieticians, psychologists, as well as physical and mental wellness coaches. Cashfree has also pledged to cover vaccination expenses for employees and their dependents.

RateGain launches RG Covid Task Force

RateGain has come up with RG COVID TASK FORCE with a vision to serve as a helping hand to fight the prevailing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enclosed are the initiatives are taken by them -

  • The employees and their family were enrolled for an additional health insurance plan of Rs 3 lakh to take care of the hospitalisation expenses incurred during the treatment for COVID-19.
  • RG partnered with Pathology Lab to help their employees with the RTPCR test home sample collection in a timely manner
  • Arranged and delivered medicines, oxygen cylinders or concentrators at their employees' doorsteps
  • They helped their folks and their family members with hospital admissions
  • On a weekly basis, health tips were shared to educate employees which helped them in controlling the conditions
  • Every employee had 24x7 access to psychologists, physicians, dietician and a bouquet of other facilities like annual health check-ups
  • They are also planning to organise COVID-19 vaccination drive for their employees and immediate family members

Mankind Pharma allocates Rs 40 Cr to help COVID-19 patients with oxygen cylinders, concentrators

To combat the coronavirus crisis, the company has allocated Rs 40 crore from its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds to help COVID-19 patients and their families struggling for oxygen cylinders and concentrators.

The company has decided to arrange around 3,000-3,500 oxygen cylinders and concentrators each that will be distributed pan India in different hospitals, Mankind Pharma said.

The company has also set up a 70-bed isolation centre at Hotel New Destination in Gurugram for COVID-19 patients.

In April, Mankind Pharma also announced donating a sum of Rs 100 crore to support the families of all frontline workers, including doctors, police officers, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers, who lost their lives saving the lives of others during the pandemic.

Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor joins forces with World Central Kitchen

In a bid to support the healthcare workers, Chef Kapoor, along with World Central Kitchen and Taj Hotels, is providing free meals to the healthcare staff at various hospitals in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Gurugram, Kolkata, Goa, and Hyderabad. World Central Kitchen (wck.org) has been doing pioneering humanitarian work across the world.

ISRO joins the fight against COVID-19 with portable medical oxygen concentrator

ISRO research organisation Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre has joined the fight by developing a portable medical oxygen concentrator, named ‘SHWAAS’.

The device has been designed to support patients with respiratory illness or those who are on oxygen therapy.

SHWAAS is capable of supplying oxygen continuously at 10 LPM (litres per minute) for two patients at a time. The space agency is now inviting entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators to partner with them for prototyping and mass production.

Amazon helps sellers procure oxygen concentrators for customers in India

Ecommerce major Amazon is working with sellers on its marketplace in India to help them procure about 9,000 oxygen concentrators in the country.

The first batch of 1,000 oxygen concentrators have already landed in India and are now available for purchase for consumers and business customers. The rest are expected to come through in the second half of the month.

Amazon's global procurement teams are helping interested sellers from India connect with global suppliers to enable them to procure oxygen concentrators while simplifying supply chain complexities and facilitating the overall process.

Cytecare launches step-down hospital for moderately ill COVID-19 patients

Cytecare has developed the 120-bed COVID-19 treatment centre by converting the Canadian International School's hostel into a step-down hospital, with each bed equipped with a dedicated oxygen concentrator.. 

 

It added that the Humanist Centre for Medicine and EO helped with the fundraising for the initiative. The centre will treat moderately ill COVID-19 patients who require oxygen support. 

 

It is also equipped with a centralised clinical command room to ensure an organised channel for the allocation of oxygen beds and other accessories, and study real-time data to help the clinical team address treatment protocols for patients.

Airtel to set up free COVID-19 helpline for businesses without in-house telco infra

Bharti Airtel has announced that business of all sizes can set up a free COVID-19 helpline for their employees within two minutes with Airtel IQ – a cloud communication platform.

Airtel is also giving 5,000 minutes with each helpline account so that businesses can stay connected with their employees and organise their efforts.

The telecom major said that this feature is particularly useful for medium to small-sized companies who can set up a secure helpline instantly, without any in-house telco infrastructure.

Besides this, Airtel has rolled out a range of COVID-19 support initiatives for customers by leveraging its digital platforms, such as Covid SOS and booking vaccine slots on its Airtel Thanks app, which is available on Android, as well as iOS.

ShakeDeal launches initiatives to support employees, customers

ShakeDeal has launched project SamRaksha (“Safe Together”) for all its employees and their immediate families. It is supplying sanitisers in various packaging quantities — from 100 mL, 500mL to 5L — and have cumulatively fulfilled over one lakh litres of sanitiser so far since the start of the second wave. 

 

ShakeDeal has also partnered with reputed OEMs of healthcare equipment such as Stanley Healthcare and other top brands to import quality oxygen concentrators to India. 

JP Morgan earmarks $3.8M for India staff

Global investment banking major JP Morgan Chase has increased its COVID-19 support to the country, taking the total planned aid to close to $16 million, of which $3.8 million is slotted for supporting its over 35,000 employees in India. An additional $10 million is being earmarked in phases to support the needy who are recovering.

Sugatix launches COVID-19 vaccine search and tracking platform

Built using CoWIN APIs, the portal will help users find suitable vaccination slots in their areas. The portal will store the name and email address of the user to alert them once the slot opens up. If the user wants, they can also register their mobile number for SMS and WhatsApp alerts. 

The vaccine tracker platform currently has over 852 users from 183 districts across the country. The platform is also seeing people from US, UK and Japan, as residents there are also using it to book slots for their family staying in India.

Indus App Bazaar curates apps to keep people informed

Indus App Bazaar has curated a special category of featured apps under COVID-19 Resources to keep everyone informed and help them up with the right tools to tackle emergencies in the wake of the pandemic. The curated pack includes apps such as 1MG, Practo, Bajaj Finserv, BigBasket, and Country Delight, among others

Hike announces COVID-19 support initiatives for employees

Hike has introduced Hike COVID Support, reimbursing its employees for oxygen supplies and medicines incurred starting April 1, 2021. It has launched dedicated telegram and email helplines for securing medication and testing support.

Infinite period of paid leave for employees recovering from COVID-19 and caring for COVID impacted family members are other benefits offered by the company. Hike has also contributed to Hemkunt Foundation and One More Breath to provide free oxygen and beds for people impacted by COVID-19.

Hike has also announced an initiative called Hike Supplement Kit which reimburses for doctor-prescribed supplements and immunity boosters including vitamins, zinc, turmeric, and more, starting April 2021.

Ameyo starts helpline for people in need of COVID-19 resources

Ameyo, a Gurugram-based startup, has formulated its Ameyo Covidline wherein anyone in need of COVID-19 resources, can call and get complete updates and help from verified providers. 

 

Under the Ameyo Covidline initiative, the brand has consolidated the data from different channels and verified the large pool of contact numbers, availability, and other details, thereby directing people to an instant solution gateway in real-time. 

InsuranceDekho launches COVID-19 Vaccination Slot Finder

InsuranceDekho has launched ‘COVID-19 Vaccination Slot Finder’ — a platform to help citizens across the country check the availability of COVID-19 vaccination slots near them, as part of the company’s effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

The ‘COVID-19 Vaccination Slot Finder’ facility will assist all in locating vaccination centres nearby and directly visiting the CoWIN App and book the slot, if available. In case of non-availability of a vaccination slot, the said facility will enable the user to receive a prompt notification regarding the slot availability. InsuranceDekho sources data from CO-WIN, managed and operated by the Union Health Ministry. 

Credihealth receives 200 sustainable beds from MG Motor India 

MG Motor India has donated 200 sustainable beds to people affected by COVID-19 with the support of Credihealth. These beds are built using hard cardboard material and have a waterproof coating on them. They are also completely biodegradable. 

 

MG Motor India will be procuring these beds from a Gujarat-based company, namely Aryan Paper Mills. Credihealth has also recently launched a COVID-19 helpline for asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients.

Arzooo launches COVID-19 vaccine slot tracker

Arzooo, a retail tech startup, has launched a COVID-19 vaccine slot tracker on its B2B platform as well as its main website, Arzooo.com. Any citizen from across India can check the availability and also get notified for next available vaccine slots. 

 

Arzooo dedicated its entire website for vaccine slot tracking. However, the slot finding feature on its B2B platform (Arzooo’s app) is created exclusively for the partner retailers. Spread across more than 20 cities, Arzooo currently has a retail network of 10,000 partner retailers. 

 

The new feature also helps the users in finding nearby vaccination centres and can also send notification when the vaccine slots are available.

Cyient Foundation starts multiple initiatives to support the community

From providing financial assistance to facilitating the procurement of essential goods, the company has undertaken multiple initiatives to serve the community through the Cyient Foundation, its CSR arm.

 

Some of the initiatives undertaken are:

 

  • Food distribution drives: Over the next four weeks, Cyient Foundation will serve fresh, healthy, and hygienically cooked meals to COVID-19 patients and the elderly. So far, over 6,000 cooked meals have been served.
  • Information support on COVID-19 resources: With the help of volunteers, it is helping validate crucial information to provide accurate and timely data when a life is at stake.
  • Manufacturing and distribution of essential gear: Government hospitals in India are especially overwhelmed at the moment due to COVID-19. The Cyient Foundation is manufacturing and distributing masks and PPE suits to frontline health workers and staff at these hospitals, and to other care centres, isolation centres, and within the community. It has distributed over 6,400 masks and 340 PPE suits so far.
  • Setting up makeshift hospitals: The Cyient Foundation has partnered with hospitals in Bengaluru to help fight COVID -19. It will provide funds to support the procurement of oxygen, provide additional beds to serve poor patients, and procure ventilators.
  • The foundation also plans to set up plasma donation drives where company associates and other volunteers who have recovered from COVID-19 can donate plasma to help patients currently fighting the infection. For those who are COVID-19 positive but do not have a space to quarantine, the foundation is looking to convert parts of its office into isolation centres.

Power Gummies directs Rs 35 lakh to fight COVID-19 in Delhi 

Power Gummies is redirecting and spending Rs 35 lakh on initiatives that aid the community by providing medications as well as oxygen-related services in Delhi in partnership with an NGO, Phoenix Business Group.

 

Power Gummies will be supporting and amplifying Phoenix Business Group and helping healthcare facilities across the city meet their oxygen requirement. Leading hospitals and healthcare facilities in Delhi will be receiving oxygen support from Phoenix Business Group and Power Gummies. Further, Power Gummies will also be funding a vaccination drive at their headquarters for all the employees as well as their families.

Sapio Analytics’ WhatsApp chatbot to find verified plasma donor leads

Sapio Smart Healthcare — a division of government advisory firm Sapio Analytics — has launched an initiative called Sutra — a smart chatbot to get access to verified plasma donors and healthcare centres around a user's area.

The individual looking for plasma donors can drop a 'Hi' to +91 7977358349 on WhatsApp, where the chatbot will ask for various details, including state and district names, the blood group required, etc.

The chatbot is available in both Hindi and English and aims to assist people seeking plasma in Tier II and III cities. It also aims to help those with little to no access to digital networks and platforms.

For this, Sapio has tied up with various NGOs, individuals, and organisations operating at local levels for this initiative. Sapio has already received 200+ donor registrations from different parts of India, and around 1,800+ leads of patients who are currently positive and potential future donors. 

OYO announces 4-day week and no reasons asked paid leaves for employees

OYO has announced a 4-day week for May and 'no reasons asked' infinite paid leaves for its employees till July.

In an email to its employees, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO of OYO, shared the two initiatives with employees, and said that he truly hopes that this will make it easier for "us to tide through the next few weeks. OYO is moving to a 4-day week for the month of May," he said.

OkCredit launches hyperlocal search tool for medicines

Through a portal co-aid.in, the company will provide real-time information on the availability of medicines pan India besides the contact number of stores for making enquiries, at a time when getting COVID-19 medicines is an onerous task, OkCredit said in a statement. The company is open-sourcing data of over 2 lakh pharmacy stores and businesses on its platform. 

These stores and businesses sell medical products and services such as Fabiflu tablets, oximeters, O2 beds, normal beds, steamers, antibiotics, zinc, vitamins, and oxygen used for treating COVID-19 patients.

BharatPe rolls out initiative to encourage COVID-19 vaccination for merchants

BharatPe announced the rollout of its campaign ‘Covid Vaccination Cashback’. Launched under ‘BharatPe Cares’, a corporate social responsibility initiative by BharatPe, this first-of-its-kind of programme aims to create awareness about COVID-19 vaccination amongst the company’s over six million merchant partners, and also encourage them to get vaccinated without delay. 

Under the vaccination cashback programme, BharatPe merchants will get a Rs 300 instant cashback in their bank account by scanning their vaccination certificate via the BharatPe app.

The company also announced the launch of a COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker on its app to facilitate relevant information on COVID-19 vaccination. By using the vaccine tracker, the merchants can view details of the nearby COVID-19 vaccination centres, based on their location. Also, they can choose to get notified when a slot is available in their chosen area.

MakeMyTrip Foundation launches CoviRide to provide transport assistance

MakeMyTrip Foundation’s CoviRide is available over mobile web and desktop and is aimed at solving transport-related problems such as emergency commute, ambulance services for COVID-19, ride to vaccination centres, oxygen centres, to and from the hospital, and for medical equipment transfer such as oxygen cylinder, concentrator, and medicines among others. 

Updated real-time, the platform enables private vendors and organisations to reach out to users directly as soon as a transport related query matches their service. Further, the ‘Offer a ride’ feature allows individuals to volunteer and offer a ride to anyone in need of any transport assistance.

Currently, the services are available across New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Agra. It is looking to expand in other cities soon.

LG Electronics pledges $5.5M to fight against COVID-19

LG Electronics will provide financial assistance of $5.5 million to set up medical infrastructure in these crucial times, when India is fighting against the second wave of the pandemic, the company said in a statement.

LG Electronics has also pledged to help 10 makeshift hospitals across India. This will be done in association with local government bodies and NGOs.

As part of this, LG Electronics would help the country's leading medical facility AIIMS, by funding the addition of more beds to treat COVID-19 patients.

Meesho announces corpus of Rs 5Cr for COVID-19 care for its employees

Social commerce unicorn Meesho has announced several benefits and medical support for its employees. The startup has set aside Rs 5 crore to support its employees and their families financially, emotionally, and mentally.

Meesho is giving everyone the option of taking Wednesdays off during May. For those working on Wednesdays, it has been declared as a “No meeting” day. All employees are eligible to opt for advance payment of salaries to keep up with medical expenses.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible to take up to 14 days of paid leave to focus on their recovery. Meanwhile, special unlimited paid caregiver leave is also available to 'Meeshoites', who are taking care of family members with COVID-19 within the same household.

Among other benefits, outside of the Rs 3 lakh insurance that covers hospitalisation bills, an additional reimbursement of up to Rs 25,000 is given for all expenses incurred during home quarantine and hospitalisation. Plus all employees and their dependents will be reimbursed up to Rs 20,000 for institutional quarantine and Rs 10,000 for home quarantine.

Ola, GiveIndia partner to provide free oxygen concentrators

Ola has joined hands with GiveIndia — a Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation — to launch the O2forIndia initiative to provide free oxygen concentrators to those in need.  

Through its philanthropic arm Ola Foundation, the company will be rolling out the service in Bengaluru this week, with an initial set of 500 oxygen concentrators. It will be scaled up to provide 10,000 concentrators across India in the coming weeks, Ola said. 

People can place a request for oxygen concentrators through the Ola app by providing a few basic details. Once the request is placed, one of Ola’s cab drivers will pick up the oxygen concentrator and deliver it to those in need and pick it up once they no longer need it. The concentrator and transportation are free of cost.

Razorpay, Paytm help NGOs raise funds for COVID-19 relief

Razorpay has enabled a ‘Donate Now’ feature on the payment checkout page of all its merchants. 

According to the company, this allows any Razorpay merchant to nudge its customers to donate any amount after completing their payment. These donations will be made to NGOs supporting COVID relief campaigns across India. 

Within seven days of launching, Razorpay’s partner NGOs have collected almost Rs 20 crore through its platform. So far, over 2,000 merchants on the platform have reached out to millions of citizens. 

 

Paytm, too, announced that it is offering its payment gateway services at zero percent transaction fees to all registered NGOs across India to help them secure maximum resources for swift, seamless, and smooth COVID relief work. This service would be applicable on donations of up to Rs 10 lakh. 

In fact, Verloop.io is forming a communication highway between those who need oxygen and those who have it, including individuals and hospitals, by bringing in bot-powered efficiency to the system.

It is working with medical manufacturers, NGOs, charities, food delivery networks, and groups associated with COVID-19 care to build an “information bot” on WhatsApp.

It has partnered with KVN Foundation, which is working to provide emergency oxygen support. Razorpay and Verloop.io also came together to help NGOs raise donations via WhatsApp chatbot. The programme is active in Bengaluru and Mumbai and is looking to expand to other cities.

Snapdeal launches 'Sanjeevani' 

Ecommerce company Snapdeal has launched 'Sanjeevani' to connect COVID-19 patients with potential plasma donors. The tool will be accessible via its website and mobile app. 

Patients and donors can register themselves with their mobile numbers/email IDs and provide relevant information like blood group, location and donor-specific details, such as when they tested positive or negative for COVID-19 infection.

After registering, Snapdeal's search engine will look for relevant matches and connect patients with potential donors.

Bharat Biotech commences direct supply of Covaxin to 14 states

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has started supplying its COVID-19 vaccine to the states based on the allocations received by the central government. 

The pharma company is supplying vaccines to Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

Lenovo commits Rs 8 Cr towards fighting COVID-19 in India

Of this funding, Rs 5 crore will be donated in the form of medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators, refillable oxygen cylinders, invasive ventilators, and oximeters to hospitals where the need is high. The remaining Rs 3 crore will be dedicated towards hospital extensions and supporting medical frontline workers.

Lenovo is setting up hospital extension facilities in state-run government hospitals in Gurugram and Bengaluru in partnership with America India Foundation (AIF). These are pre-fabricated mobile air-conditioned hospital facilities with ICU beds, ventilators, and oxygen concentrators.

Lenovo is also supporting frontline workers in hospitals with food kits in Ahmedabad across ambulance attendants, wards boys, and nurses, in partnership with Yuva Unstoppable.

Paytm to set up oxygen plant

Paytm will set up an oxygen plant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It took the step to support Gujarat Governor Acharya Devrat's 'Corona Seva Yagna' initiative.

Paytm said it will set up 12-13 more such oxygen plants pan-India to fight the recent shortage of oxygen. Besides, it will send over 21,000 oxygen concentrators to government hospitals, COVID-care facilities, private hospitals, and nursing homes in May.

OYO launches VaccinAid feature

Hospitality major OYO has rolled out a VaccinAid feature to show the vaccination status of hotel staff across OYOs. With VaccinAid, users on the OYO app will have visibility on hotels and homes with vaccinated staff — either with the first dose or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This enables users to book hotels with immunised staff, and thereby act as an accelerator on both sides of the platform.

HUL to provide 4,000 oxygen concentrators to India

Under its Mission HO2PE, HUL will send 4,000 concentrators to the worst affected cities, which includes Delhi, Lucknow, Bengaluru, etc., the FMCG major said.

"HUL is partnering with KVN Foundation and Portea to make the O2 concentrators available to needy patients promptly and efficiently, it said.

Portea will have access to 3,000 oxygen concentrators, which will be provided free of charge to patients, while the remaining will be donated by HUL to hospitals in nearly 20 locations across India.

Paytm launches COVID-19 vaccine finder

Fintech giant Paytm launched COVID-19 Vaccine Finder on its Mini App Store. The vaccine finder helps citizens track slot availability and receive real-time automated alerts when new slots open via Paytm Chat. Through Paytm's COVID-19 Vaccine Finder platform, people can check the availability of vaccination slots for a specific date by individually entering different pincodes or district details along with the age group, either 18+ or 45+.

Swiggy to prioritise Genie deliveries 

Swiggy has announced that it will be prioritising deliveries through its hyperlocal delivery vertical, Genie. Started in 2019, Genie is Swiggy’s pick up and drop service. it has been focussed on delivering over the counter (OTC) medicines, oximeters, and thermometers to home-cooked meals, care packages, and grocery. While the other food and Instamart deliveries will not be delayed, this just means that the Genie orders will be assigned first.

WhatsApp India and Facebook India collaborates with Covidmealsforindia initiative

CovidMealsforIndia.com is an initiative started by Celebrity chef Saransh Goila & Delhi-based technology startup, Fastor. Within 72 hours of the platform going live, it has exploded with over 2 lakh visitors in 300+ cities across the country. They currently have 3,000+ service providers.

The process is super simple and quick. You can just text “Hi” on +91 8882891316 (https://wa.me/918882891316) on WhatsApp. The bot will explain the process and ask you to register as a supplier or user who needs a meal. If you’re a supplier you can fill up the form and register yourself. In case you’re someone who needs a meal, you can type your pincode and get a list of all the nearby food suppliers.

PepsiCo Foundation launches community and employee care initiatives across India

PepsiCo Foundation has announced an extensive community relief outreach for vulnerable communities across India with a special focus on five states including Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana. The relief efforts include:

  • A massive vaccination drive: 1,00,000+ vaccine doses to be provided to communities administered through the local healthcare system
  • COVID-19 care centres: Five COVID-19 care centres to be set up in key states for three months. Each centre will be equipped with beds and will have all key medical facilities including oxygen cylinders for emergency use, medical equipment, provision of meals among others.
  • Provision of oxygen concentrators: 100+ oxygen concentrators are also being procured and will be provided to various state government authorities to support their on-ground requirements.
  • Awareness drives to promote vaccination: Drives to be organised in partnership with SEEDS and government authorities to promote vaccination amongst the population.

 

With employee safety and well-being being our top priorities, PepsiCo India has also rolled out a vaccination drive for its employees across India, the company will cover the vaccination cost for its employees and their spouses. 

Cashfree supports Mission Oxygen to fight COVID-19

  • Mission Oxygen is helping hospitals across India get access to oxygen supplies in the form of 10L/Min Oxygen Concentrators, and Oxygen generation plants.
  • To help Mission Oxygen, Cashfree is contributing Re 1 for every Re 1 received as a donation of up to Rs 40,00,000.
  • For the duration of the 40 lakh collection goal, Cashfree will be a preferred payment gateway used to accept donations by crowdfunding platform Ketto.
  • Cashfree will be allocating the contributions from its CSR funds to support the campaign.

Sun Life donates $100,000 to support pandemic relief efforts in India 

Sun Life is donating $100,000 to support relief efforts in India for those affected by the devastating second wave of COVID-19. The majority of the donation will go to the Canadian Red Cross, who is working closely with the Indian Red Cross. They are assisting local agencies in providing medical and emotional support for those most at risk. This includes transportation and providing oxygen for critical patients. Approximately $25,000 of the donation will go to a regional charity to boost local efforts. 

 

The local office in India has also donated over $55,000 to The Akshaya Patra Foundation to aid in the distribution of grocery kits to vulnerable families. This donation supported over 8,100 people. 

In addition, employees have raised funds to serve cooked meals to migrant workers and those who are underprivileged.

Since the pandemic began, Sun Life has donated $2 million to help the ongoing relief efforts and address health inequalities. Those funds focused on health care, elder care, mental health, vaccine rollout and addressing food insecurity needs in markets where Sun Life operates: Asia, Canada and the United States.

Spice Money aims to enable Covid Vaccination registration for rural citizens

Spice Money has launched a dedicated assistance initiative for Covid vaccination registration to enable rural citizens to register through its dense network across 18000+ pin codes. Also the company has initiated a special drive to spread awareness and educate its banking correspondent partners (Spice Money Adhikaris) about the priority vaccination available to them, as directed by the Department of Financial Service, Ministry of Finance. 

 

Spice Money Adhikari network covering 95 percent of India’s rural pin codes will facilitate people to register and book an appointment for vaccination, while at the same time dispelling vaccine-related myths that may exist in smaller communities. 

 

Currently, to facilitate vaccination of Spice Money Adhikaris on priority, the company has created a digital folder with all necessary documents that they need to carry to the vaccination centre, including their Spice Money ID card, government ID proof, DSF letter and a copy of their self-registration slip, among others. 

 

Further, to facilitate rural customers to register for vaccination, Spice Money has integrated Covid registration on their app and portal itself. Rural citizens can also call on 1800 572 1572 to find out available Spice Money Adhikaris near to them.

Avenue Growth joins battle against COVID; launches portal www.wewillwin.in

The portal, launched jointly with FullEstop, is expected to have real-time verified information on crucial subjects like beds, oxygen, ambulances, medications and more. You can check real-time verified information on subjects that matter and easily look for the availability of resources. 

 

They are also setting up a dedicated call centre to help patients get help real-time. Their Twitter handle is @wewillwinindia.  

HealthifyMe launches Vaccinateme.in to help users find vaccination slots

HealthifyMe has announced the launch of ‘Vaccinateme.in’, a new platform that uses CoWIN APIs to help people find the available vaccination slots in real-time in their area or district. This initiative has been launched to fast track the mass inoculation drive in the country and encourage people to get vaccinated at the earliest. 

 

In the case of unavailability of the slots, the platform will notify the users when a slot opens up via SMS, email, or WhatsApp. Users can access this service either on the HealthifyMe app or by visiting Vaccinateme.in.

The platform is integrated with relevant filters to customise the search on the basis of pincode, district, age, choice of vaccine, and free or paid vaccination centres. The company intends to add more features and filters to further improve the user experience over the next few days. 

Samsung Pledges $5 million to India’s Fight Against Covid-19

Samsung has pledged $5 million (Rs 37 crore) as its contribution to India’s fight against the current surge of Covid-19, providing donations to central and state governments, and boosting the healthcare sector with essential medical equipment for hospitals, as part of its citizenship initiatives. Samsung will donate $3 million to the Centre as well as to the states of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

 

In addition, Samsung will also provide $2 million worth of medical supplies, including 100 Oxygen Concentrators, 3,000 Oxygen Cylinders and one million LDS syringes. These will be offered to the states of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

 

Additionally, as part of its people initiative, Samsung will cover the vaccination costs for over 50,000 eligible employees and beneficiaries in India, as vaccine doses become available. This will also include all Samsung Experience Consultants, who work at electronics retail stores across the country.

 

In April 2020, Samsung had contributed Rs 20 crore to India’s fight against the pandemic. 

Khalsa Aid raises over Rs 1 crore through crowdfunding to procure Oxygen Concentrators

Khalsa Aid India, the humanitarian organisation known for providing support to victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts, has launched a crowdfunding drive on ImpactGuru.com towards the procurement of oxygen concentrators.

The campaign has been receiving an overwhelming response since it went live on May 2. In just three days, Khalsa Aid India ImpactGuru fundraiser page has raised over Rs 1 crore, cumulatively contributed from over 5000 donors. The single highest donation received on the crowdfunding campaign in USD is $10,000 and in Rs is Rs 2.50 lakh.

Bajaj Group pledges additional support of Rs 200 Cr for COVID-19 relief

Pune-based Bajaj Group on Tuesday pledged additional financial support of Rs 200 crore towards COVID-19 response. The financial support will be utilised to alleviate the immediate on-ground challenges as well as to build capability and resources to tackle a possible third wave, the Bajaj group said in a statement.

This contribution is in addition to Rs 100 crore donated by the group last year to support the government's fight against the deadly pandemic.

Koo to roll out features for finding hospital beds, plasma donors

The social media platform will allow potential plasma donors to sport badges on their profile pictures for increased visibility, and a new feature is also in the offing that would notify users about vaccine availability. The homegrown microblogging platform is also adding a new automated tab, which takes any mention of COVID-19, vaccination, beds, and other resources, and puts it into one place for people to be able to sift through.

Infosys doubles Covid relief commitment to Rs 200 Cr

Infosys has doubled its commitment towards Covid relief efforts to Rs 200 crore that will be used to add hospital beds and augment the supply of oxygen concentrators and ventilators among other activities.

In an email to employees, Infosys Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh said the company has established vaccination centres for employees and their families at seven of its development centres (DC) across the country, and work is in progress to establish them in other DCs. Infosys has also collaborated with over 130 hospitals across India, where staff and their family members can get vaccinated.

Droom announces Rs 1 crore budget to combat COVID and other initiatives

The company has announced a Rs 1 crore budget to combat COVID-19 for its employees and dealers’ community under the banner – Droom Cares. Droom Cares is an initiative by the company for the well-being of its employees, entire dealers community and other stakeholders. Droom will ensure proper sanitisation of a few healthcare facilities, police stations, clinics, pharmacies, as well as the homes of healthcare workers in Delhi NCR. 

 

The company will be using Germ Shield, its anti-microbial coating developed by the company and certified by NALB, FICCI, and Grant Thornton. Droom has created a COVID SWAT team to verify all leads regarding oxygen supply, hospital beds, ICU availability, oximeters, food suppliers, plasma donors, and COVID-related life-saving drugs, this initiative enables Droomers to help anyone in need.

 

To extend a helping hand to the worst-hit small and medium enterprises, Droom has launched programs for its 20,500+ dealers to assist on pharmaceuticals, COVID vaccination, medical assistance and also provide isolation wards to asymptotic dealers with basic medical facilities.

TrulyMadly’s matchmaking engine to find right plasma donor

Dating app TrulyMadly has deployed its matchmaking algorithm to help COVID-19 patients match plasma donors with patients. The feature has been added to TrulyMadly’s initiative Corona Clusters, which was launched last year to update people on the latest pandemic related data and is used by more than 30 lakh users each month. 

The ‘Plasma Matchmaking’ feature helps both plasma donors and patients find the right. To make the process fast and more efficient, the Plasma Donation feature captures and matches all critical information from both the patient and donor, including their blood group, COVID-19 diagnosis date, location, contact details, and phone number.

Early in the pandemic, the dating app launched a nationwide multilingual website to apprise users about COVID-19 related information, including state-wise segregation of cases and district and state-level health bulletins, among others.

Corona Clusters uses verified crowdsourced data & APIs from Covid19India.org and shares updates on the number of total active, recovered, and death cases on a real time basis.

Impetus Technologies provides free meals Impetus Technologies started the initiative to provide cooked meals for free to its employees and family members suffering from COVID-19 a month ago.

 

The procurement of raw items, cooking, packaging and delivering is all taken care of in-house. Employees based out of Indore, Bengaluru, Gurugram, NOIDA and Hyderabad have been benefiting through this noble gesture.

 

As of today, more than 200 meals are prepared per day, and packed in eco-friendly packaging material and delivered to all the employees and their families affected by COVID-19.

Uber announces 60k free rides utilisation to get vaccinated at authorised centres

Uber recently announced that riders across the country have already utilised more than 60,000 free rides to get vaccinated at authorised centres in both government and private hospitals. Uber first announced its free rides initiative on March 3rd, when it pledged to support the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), State Governments and local NGOs with free rides worth Rs 10 crore during India’s ongoing vaccination drive.

In continuation of its commitment to support India's massive vaccination effort, Uber today also made public a partnership with HelpAge India, a leading national NGO, dedicated to serving the disadvantaged elderly. 

 

Through this partnership, Uber will provide 25,000 free rides over the coming months to facilitate the vaccination of the vulnerable and disadvantaged elderly to and from the nearest vaccination centres in 19 cities. These are Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Dehradun, Jaipur, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Mangalore, Indore, and Jodhpur.

OpraahFx raises more than Rs 50 lakh for COVID relief fund

OpraahFx, an influencer marketing firm, and YouTubers – Slayy Point and Mythpat raised over Rs 50 lakh for COVID-19 relief by bringing together India’s biggest gamers and influencers. Over 35 Indian influencers joined a 7.5-hour YouTube live stream on April 25 and raised funds for Hemkunt Foundation who are providing oxygen supply in the country. 

The YouTube live stream was hosted by Slayy Point on Mythpat’s YouTube channel and Influencers like Techno Gamerz, Kusha Kapila, Technical Guruji, Salonayy, Total Gaming, Ashish Chanchlani, Mythpat, Carry Minati, Viraj Ghelani, Abish Mathew, Ankush Bahuguna, BeYouNick, Tanmay Bhatt, Ranveer Allahbadia, Dolly Singh, etc joined the live stream. 

Mi India pledges Rs 3 crores to procure 1000+ oxygen concentrators

Mi India is pledging Rs 3 crores to procure 1000+ oxygen concentrators for hospitals across states. The company is also partnering with Give India to raise 1 crore for COVID Warriors on mi.com

The company is also partnering with GiveIndia to raise Rs 1 crore to support frontline covid workers in the country. The donation page will be live on mi.com.

Paytm to import 3000 oxygen concentrators

Paytm aims to raise Rs 10 crore and import 3,000 oxygen concentrators for government and private hospitals, COVID-19 care centres, NGOs, and resident welfare associations, as part of its initiative called 'Oxygen for India'.

 

The fintech decacorn has invited its users to donate money on its platform, and said it will match each contribution made, rupee for rupee. The startup has already placed an order to import 1,000 oxygen concentrators worth Rs 4 crore, it said. So far, users have already contributed up to Rs 1.5 crore, and the Paytm Foundation has matched that amount to a total of Rs 3 crore.

CRED to raise funds for buying oxygen concentrators

Bengaluru-based CRED has launched an initiative to raise funds to buy oxygen concentrators for healthcare organisations. The startup has invited its members to donate their CRED coins towards buying oxygen-related equipment, which will be facilitated by Milaap. The initiative aims to raise funds to procure equipment to produce one billion litres of oxygen.

MapmyIndia offers free GPS tracking

Indian navigation and telematics company MapmyIndia will be installing GPS tracking systems for free in transport vehicles carrying oxygen, vaccines, hospital beds, and other medical infrastructure to ensure their smooth, quick, and interrupted movement.

Those looking to avail of this service can write to contact@mapmyindia.com or call +91 99993 33223 with their company or vehicle details. MapmyIndia will then align installation and live tracking dashboard teams to get the service working as soon as it can and prevent delays in essential medical equipment reaching wherever the need is. website or app developers can integrate the locations of nearby COVID vaccination centres on their web apps through MapmyIndia.

Amazon teams up with industry, NGOs to bring 10,000 oxygen concentrators

Amazon has joined hands with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR), and other partners to urgently airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore. 

The medical equipment will be donated to hospitals and public institutions to augment their capacity to help COVID-19 infected patients across multiple cities. The majority of the shipping is expected to be completed by April 30. Amazon said it would bear the cost of airlifting these machines, procured through multiple funders including ACT Grants and PPCR, from Singapore to India, through Air India and other international carriers.

Additionally, Amazon will also manage the movement of these oxygen concentrators and other donations from the local airport to identified hospitals and institutions. Amazon India is also procuring over 1,500 oxygen concentrators and other critical medical equipment that will be donated to hospitals and medical facilities in partnership with multiple non-profits including Swasth, Concern India and impact organisations like ACT Grants and Sattva Consulting.

Democracy People Foundation begins with 'Mission Oxygen'

Democracy People Foundation has started an initiative called 'Mission Oxygen' to help hospitals across the country get immediate access to oxygen concentrators. Led by a group of founders, Democracy People Foundation comprises Rahul Aggarwal and Varun Aggarwal of Designhill; Uday Anand, Founder, Crush Fitness India; Shikher Gupta, Founder, Cuttlefish; and Satvacart Founder Rahul Hari Saxena. 

The team, which set out to procure 100 oxygen concentrators initially, has managed to procure 500 concentrators from China. The requirement has now shot up to 5,000 concentrators for 14 hospitals, as well as supplying them to the Maharashtra and Delhi governments.

MediBuddy launches slew of initiatives to combat COVID-19 second wave

The digital healthcare platform launched a ‘COVID-19 Hospital Bed Availability Checker’ on their mobile app to help users locate available beds. According to the official statement, the feature will provide real-time details on the availability of beds at nearby hospitals.  

In order to ensure that people have easy access to medical advice, the company also launched a 24x7 helpline support, where users can call and get coronavirus-related consultation for free for the first 30 mins of the call. 

Apart from this, it will now also enable users to book COVID-19 tests both at home and onsite. MediBuddy also introduced a Coronavirus Risk Assessment Tool to help the users pre-screen and assess the level of risk.

Mylab to deploy 50 high-volume mobile testing labs for COVID-19 across India

Pune-based molecular diagnostics company Mylab Discovery Solutions on Friday said it plans to deploy 50 ICMR-approved and NABL certified mobile testing labs across the country to meet the huge backlog in RT-PCR testing amid rising cases of COVID-19. 

These labs are "powered by automated Compact XL machines, which test three times faster than the conventional labs due to parallel processing and automated handling," Mylab said in a statement. Each mobile lab can process as many as 1,500 to 3,000 tests per day, it added. The company has already made two labs functional in Mumbai, and three more are being rolled out within this week - one each in Pune, Mumbai, and Goa.

C-CAMP InDx announces mass-scale availability of diagnostic kits

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms or C-CAMP, on behalf of Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster, has enabled mass-scale availability of indigenously developed, ICMR/DCGI-approved COVID-19 diagnostic kits for government and private diagnostic labs that are facing any shortfall due to the increased number of cases across India. 

The initiative is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, Indigenisation of Diagnostics program or CCAMP-InDx in conjunction with the National Biomedical Resources Consortium (N-BRIC). These kits are now directly accessible through the CCAMP-InDx deployed marketplace platform, which was designed pro-bono by TCS and connects kit buyers immediately with manufacturers.

Action COVID-19 Team Grants steps up again to battle COVID-19

Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) Grants stepped up its efforts to support hospitals across India by enabling a supplement medical workforce, and sourcing oxygen concentrators from abroad. ACT is a social change movement involving India’s startup ecosystem to enable change makers who use their time, talent, and resources to mobilise solutions to fight the pandemic.

It was set up last March to minimise the impact of COVID-19 by raising Rs 100 crore from 34 founders and leaders, 44 funds, and 37 strategic partners. It now has a base of 100 volunteers, apart from a five-member COVID-19 Prospecting Team. In its latest mission, ACT Grants set up a payment link late last night, enabled by RazorPay, for corporates and institutional donors as part of its plan to raise Rs 75 crore ($10 million).

Zomato joins Delhivery to raise Rs 50 Cr to source oxygen concentrators

Zomato has announced that it has kickstarted the “Help Save My India” mission through its 

not-for-profit arm Feeding India in association with Delhivery to source oxygen concentrators and related supplies to help hospitals and families in need.

In a tweet, Zomato's Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said that the startup will raise Rs 50 crore in the next few days and that domestic donors can go to this link to donate, and the company will shortly share a link for international donors on their Feeding India handle. He added that startups and companies, who want to join hands in this effort, can reach out to him at d@zomato.com, or write to the team at contact@feedingindia.org.

Tata Group to import 24 cryogenic containers

Tata Group announced that it was importing 24 cryogenic containers to transport liquid oxygen. In a similar initiative to address the oxygen shortage, Tata Steel also announced that it will supply 200-300 tons of liquid medical oxygen to various state governments and hospitals. In a similar effort, billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries has tweaked the manufacturing at its Jamnagar oil refineries to produce over 700 tons a day of medical-grade oxygen, which is supplied free of cost to states badly affected by COVID-19.

Delhivery charters two planes to help import oxygen compressors

Delhivery will be flying two planes from China to provide logistical support for importing oxygen concentrators. The company is doing this at minimal margins for compressors and other essentials, and have a spare capacity as things stand. In case the demand far exceeds the current supply, he said that the company can arrange for additional flights as well.

Rodic Consultant develops first of its kind "Oxygen Monitoring System for UP

Rodic Consultant Private Limited has developed a first-of-its-kind digital portal "Oxygen Monitoring System for UP" to ensure hassle-free and timely supply of oxygen in Uttar Pradesh. The unique platform will regularly monitor and track the real-time location of vehicles so that oxygen reaches hospitals without any delay especially during emergencies. 

The company has developed the platform with support from Food Safety and Drug Administration, Department of Medical Education, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Transport and Home Department of Uttar Pradesh. Rodic’s representatives will be available round the clock to ensure an easy supply of oxygen to government and private hospitals on time.

A web portal/link has been developed for "Oxygen Monitoring System for UP". This link will directly connect the needy with officers/workers who are in charge of the oxygen supply chain in the state. All the details will be regularly uploaded on the portal by the company’s representatives. By tracking availability online, delivery vehicles will be assigned to the nearest location to avoid emergencies.

Additionally, vehicles assigned with the task of oxygen supply will be closely monitored through the platform to meet the requirements as soon as possible. The company is also ramping up its efforts to increase the number of drivers to ensure hassle-free supply.

Other areas where Indian companies are coming forward are:

HCL: HCL is supporting the Delhi Government with 12,000 oxygen cylinders each with a capacity of 40 litres, and 21 oxygen plants, which will generate 8,800 litres of oxygen per minute, catering to around 1,500 patients at a time. 

Cashfree: Cashfree has launched ‘Payment links for Donations’ to help organisations raise funds and accept payments digitally for COVID-19 relief to accept donations digitally via 100+ payment modes. The link will be created using Cashfree Payment Gateway Dashboard and does not need any additional coding for integration. The link created can be listed on the organisation's website as well as shared through WhatsApp, SMS, email, and other social media platforms to collect donations. A dedicated team has been set up to help organisations raising donations for COVID-19 relief activities to set up their account and start collecting donations within 12 hours.

ClickPost: The company announced the introduction of an ‘Essential’ goods option on its platform. This feature will enable ecommerce companies to mark specific items and orders as essential, allowing courier partners to deliver these products to COVID-restricted areas across the country. Through the use of a new API integration provided by shipping partners, ecommerce businesses will now be able to tag specific orders as essential while generating individual airway bills (AWB). These orders can then be shipped and safely reach their destination in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.

Unofin: Unofin announced ‘Covid Corridor’ — an initiative to assist those looking for oxygen beds across its network of 550+ partner hospitals in Delhi-NCR, Jaipur, and Chandigarh. With a mission to save 1,000+ lives and assist 5,000+ patients by providing free tele-consultation along with an option to finance out of pocket healthcare expenses at no cost pay later options. People can call at 8955 8955 89 to check hospital bed availability in the Uno partner network or to book a free COVID tele-consultation.

Pristyn Care: Pristyn Care, a healthcare startup specialising in surgeries, introduced a ‘Single visit Safe Surgery’ service for patients who cannot delay their surgeries due to the severity of their medical conditions. Advanced medical technology used by the expert doctors of Pristyn Care for performing minimally invasive surgeries ensures that a patient’s stay in the hospital is the shortest. All the 400+ hospitals of Pristyn Care as part of the ‘Single visit Safe Surgery’ service strictly adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Government of India’s (GOI) safety and sanitisation norms along with supervision of the COVID-Care team at Pristyn Care.

CapitaLand India: Prioritising employees’ safety and health during these tough times, CapitaLand organised a vaccination drive for its employees, their families and support staff. The initiative was conducted in association with the Bangalore Municipal Corporation at the International Tech Park Bangalore (ITPB).

NoBroker: NoBrokerHOOD -- the visitor, society, and payments management app by NoBroker.com – has announced that it will be organising vaccination drives across societies in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Delhi-NCR.

Vaccination at doorstep started with two societies in Bangalore on April 24, 2021 and will continue through the coming months. The vaccines will be administered by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved labs with trained medical professionals at the helm while observing high standards of safety and covid protocol at no extra cost. 

Emoha Elder Care: Emoha is working with partners to set up Covid isolation hubs across Delhi. Along with other assisted services, the platform is helping elders at various stages of the vaccination process. Right from the registration process to accompanying elders to the vaccination centre, waiting in long queues for their vaccination turn and being around with them for the 30 minute post-vaccination observation period.

Moreover, the team at Emoha Elder Care is also involved in making regular health monitoring calls post-vaccination; arranging doctor visits and calls if it is requested by elders and closing all the booking formalities for the second shot of vaccination. Till now, the platform has been successful in assisting over 500 elders residing across Delhi, NCR get vaccinated without any hassle.

Exalta: New Delhi-based Exalta has developed a portable mini ventilator with an inbuilt oxygen concentrator. A water-based pure oxygen concentrator, the mini ventilator provides 1 to 8 litres of oxygen per minute. All that one needs to do is put water inside the ventilator and it will process the rest on its own. It creates pure oxygen through the water like other oxygen concentrators found in the market based on Normal PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption). They consist of a Pressure exhaust mechanism that draws oxygen from normal air with a zeolite process. Zeolite is the process that purifies the air and removes other gases into a compressor.

IISER Bhopal: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Bhopal have developed an affordable oxygen concentrator to meet the high demand for medical oxygen amid a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The device, which is estimated to cost less than Rs 20,000, can provide 93-95 percent pure oxygen with a flow rate of up to 3 litre/minute, they said. According to the team, the device, which costs around Rs 60,000-70,000 at present, has been developed as a solution to tackle the oxygen shortage amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HealthcareAtHome: Noida-based healthtech company HealthCare atHOME (HCAH) has set up a facility equipped with oxygen concentrators by converting a hotel in Gurugram. COVID-19 positive patients who require oxygen are given assistance in this unit. It is treating about 125 patients at the moment.

IIT Kharagpur: IIT Kharagpur has successfully commercialised its flagship healthcare product COVIRAP, the novel diagnostic technology to zero on infectious diseases including COVID-19, the institute said Wednesday.

The product, developed by lead researchers Professor Suman Chakraborty, Dr Arindam Mondal and their research group, has been licensed for commercialisation to the Rapid Diagnostic Group of Companies, India and Bramerton Holdings LLC, USA.

Power Gummies: The company is reducing packaging costs by sending products to consumers without the outer box. Instead, a note is being given with gummies explaining the initiative. Besides, they are setting up vaccination camps in their offices for all employees and their family members and have also partnered with the Phoenix group for providing free oxygen to hospitals. They are also raising a fund for assisting hospitals in procuring oxygen so precious lives can be saved. Accordingly, the company will be making a contribution of Rs 35 lakh towards medications, vaccine camps, oxygen support and medical supplies. 

 

MedRabbits: Till date, they have registered approximately 1500 users and over 200 doctors, nurses, attendants and therapists with more than 3000 appointments. Another significant step forward is the launch of their mBrase IoT smartwatch for remote health monitoring

Crediwatch: It has developed tools to help validate medical service providers for Covid-19 relief across India. CW aims to enable Covid-19 relief workers, doctors, hospitals and resource teams to quickly ascertain the bonafides of a supplier of medical supplies such as liquid oxygen, medicines, surgical masks and so on. CW’s web platform or APIs (application programming interface) enable relief networks to instantly run checks on businesses claiming to offer a service. CW’s bot infrastructure and proprietary scores will identify any potential risks with a business entity. Only validated businesses can be retained by various relief networks providing critical care across India.

 

CarDekho: The company has announced a series of initiatives for employee welfare from covering the vaccination costs of all its employees to giving monthly Covid allowance to its field staff or giving 3x the CTC on employee bereavement, the company has come up with multiple policies that will provide support on immediate basis or in the long run. In addition to the Covid Toolkit released last week, CarDekho has now gone live with a Helpline for the employees. They have released a dedicated helpline number 07665443218 for any Covid-19 related information or updates. The company’s backend team will gather the necessary information, and call back with verified leads and follow through to ensure that all necessary help has been received.

Sparklehood: New-age startup school for working professionals, Sparklehood, has helped Accord super speciality hospital in Greater Faridabad launch Corona Seva Kendra with 200 beds and sufficient oxygen for these 200 beds for the next one month. All founders and the Sparklehood team have helped raise Rs 50 lakh through different COVID donation platforms. It is also taking up candidates on a scholarship basis to help aspiring applicants in these unprecedented times.  

Yellow Messenger: Conversational AI platform Yellow Messenger has launched ‘Yellow Messenger Cares’ — a CSR initiative — to empower organisations with COVID-19 help-related omnichannel chatbots. With no prerequisites or conditions attached, any NGO, hospital, support group, or business can get an AI chatbot built by Yellow Messenger to drive crisis efforts.

Alserv: Alserv — a tech startup focused on non-real-estate-based assisted living services for the elderly — has launched “Alserv Care” for COVID-19 positive elderly individuals. This entails delivery of meals, grocery, and medicine, facilitating services of nurses and caretakers, providing oxygen support and other medical equipment to the elderly (upon request). Enabling quality care at home, Alserv provides these services starting at Rs 300 per month. The elderly can choose home-cooked meals to be delivered at their residences from the variety of choices available. 

 

DesiDime: Online shopping community website DesiDime has started a discussion thread where members from all over India can share verified and updated information about bed availability, ambulances, oxygen, and medicines for COVID-19 patients. On this thread, relatives or friends of COVID-positive patients can find validated and updated information about where to find vacant beds, oxygen, ambulances, or medicines like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, anywhere in India.

 

RapiPay: RapiPay has launched a tool on its website and app that links to COVID-19 vaccination data available on CoWIN on a live basis. Agents — who use the platforms to help crores of customers conduct online payments and remittance services — can use this redirected link to help customers register for COVID-19 vaccinations and book slots in their area. RapiPay's B2B app has more than five lakh installs from retailers and merchants, and its nationwide network of retailers (called RapiPay Saathis) exceed two lakh people. 

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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