Google donates $18M to combat COVID-19 crisis

More companies are pledging support after COVID cases soared

Google donates $18M to combat COVID-19 crisis

The world’s largest firms are sending relief to COVID-stricken support staff in India amid the rising number of cases in the country. Tech companies are working to provide oxygen and medical supplies to their back offices – a number of which have reportedly turned into “war rooms” to centralise the sourcing and distribution of supplies to affected colleagues.

On Thursday, Salesforce – which employs 4,000 in India – became the latest company to send support. CEO Marc Benioff said the group is loading a Boeing 787 with relief packages. The cargo is set to arrive in India next week. The medical aid follows the company’s earlier pledge of US$1m in financial assistance, which would reportedly go towards local partners that are sourcing additional supplies and working on the ground in community isolation centres.

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who were both born in India, expressed their sadness and promised to direct financial and medical resources to the country. In a tweet, Nadella said: “I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the US government is mobilising to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.”

Pichai, meanwhile, said he is “devastated to see the worsening COVID crisis in India”. Google and its employees are donating $18m to the relief efforts of GiveIndia, which will provide cash assistance to “families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses,” and to Unicef, which will deliver urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, across communities.

Read more: COVID-19: Top priorities for HR leaders revealed

Amazon is also airlifting a total of 8,000 oxygen machines to India. The ecommerce giant also promised to facilitate the delivery of essential goods to hospitals and other treatment centres.

“Covid-19 has severely impacted India in unimaginable ways,” said Amazon India head Amit Agarwal. “We stand firmly with the country, deploying our global logistics network to urgently airlift the needed oxygen concentrators to support the nation’s immediate need. We continue to explore other meaningful ways to help in saving lives and are committed to support the nation in this time of crisis.”

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