It’s good to have friends in high places, and India certainly needs friends right now.
As the country’s coronavirus cases explode, two world tech-leading CEOs are pushing big-money assistance. Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, both born in India, pledged to pitch in.
India is facing a critical shortage of intensive care unit beds, medicine, oxygen and ventilators. Morgues and crematoriums are exceeding capacity as COVID-19 and its variants are causing record highs for daily infections.
“I am heartbroken by the current situation in India,” Nadella wrote on Twitter on Sunday night. “I’m grateful the U.S. government is mobilizing 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.”
Nadella was joined hours later by Pichai, who said in a Twitter post that he was “devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis.”
A few specifics:
- Pichai announced 1.35 billion rupees ($18 million) in aid from Google and its employees.
- Google said it would provide a grant to UNICEF for urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment.
- Give India, an online donation platform, will receive a grant for families affected, and is also contributing $15 million in free advertising for public health information campaigns.
Nadella, originally from Hyderabad, has worked at Microsoft since 1992 and became chief executive in 2014.
Pichai was born in Tamil Nadu. He joined Google in 2004 and was named CEO of the firm in 2015. He added CEO of Alphabet to his resume in 2019.
India reported 352,991 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, according to CNN figures from the Indian Ministry of Health, the most recorded in a single day anywhere in the world. Monday’s reported 2,812 deaths marked the 10th day in a row of rising figures.