Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Microsoft and Google extends their support to India

Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai and his Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella extended their support to India amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

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On Monday, April 26, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella tweeted that he was heartbroken by the current situation in India and that he was grateful for the US government’s mobilization for support. He added that– “Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.”

Meanwhile, Sundar Pichai tweeted “Devasted to see worsening COVID crisis in India. Google and Googlers are providing 135 crores in funding to @GiveIndia, @UNICEF for medical supplies, organs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information.”

India has reported 3.52 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases in the last twenty-four hours. This is the highest single-day figure since the onset of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pichai also tweeted a link to a blog where Google had suggested ways to deal with the worsening situation.

According to a report by ANI, Sanjay Gupta, the country head and VP of Google India wrote:

“Today we’re announcing Rs 135 crore (USD 18 million) in new funding for India. This includes two grants from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, totalling Rs 20 crore (USD 2.6 million). The first is to GiveIndia to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses. The second will go to UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it’s needed most in India. It also includes donations from our ongoing employee giving campaign — so far more than 900 Googlers have contributed Rs 3.7 Crore (USD 500,000) for organizations supporting high-risk and marginalized communities.”

Gupta also informed about Google’s Ad Grant support that helps people to promote their non-profit organisation. This time it was helping people to gather support for their public health information campaigns.

Since last year, Google has helped organisations such as Mygov and World Health Organisations to reach audiences with messages focusing on protecting themselves and some facts about the vaccines. He added that Google was extending its support with an additional sum of Rupees 112 crores ($15 Million) to local health authorities and non-profit organisations for more language coverage options.

Google’s Maps, YouTube and Ads are helping India with their core information utility. Also, COVID articles are available on its Search app in 8 Indian languages. These features continue to improve localization and reliable sources of information. “This includes information on where to get testing and vaccines. Maps and Search surface thousands of vaccine sites. Google is also collaborating closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and with organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support vaccine awareness initiatives”, Gupta added.

Google is supporting the government with its vaccine communication strategy with YouTube. It also ran a workshop for health official where they learnt how they could audiences across the globe with vaccine information.