Walmart Scales Up Covid-19 Relief Efforts To Help Its Workers And Their Families In India
The world’s biggest retailer will donate 20 oxygen-generating plants, cryogenic containers to India.
The world’s biggest retailer Walmart has decided to set up vaccination clinics for over 2,00,000 of its workers and their families in India.
The company is not procuring Covid-19 vaccines but will cover the cost of inoculations for its associates and households.
The decision is taken at a time when India is witnessing a massive surge in Covid-19 cases during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though the American multinational retail corporation has no stores in India, it controls two of the most important online companies in the country –Flipkart and PhonePe.
Walmart said on 29 April in a statement that it will donate over 3,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders for delivering oxygen therapy to patients at home or in hospitals.
Additionally, the company will also donate 20 oxygen-generating plants, as well as 20 cryogenic containers for oxygen storage and transportation.
Even as part of the United States-India Business Council relief efforts, Walmart is funding an additional 2,500 oxygen concentrators. The equipment will be given to healthcare facilities and non-governmental organisations.
Aids are arriving in India from several countries, as it is battling a deepening pandemic crisis.
As per the data from Indian Health Ministry, the country has reported over 4,00,000 fresh new Covid-19 cases on 1 May.
This second wave has overwhelmed India’s healthcare system, leading to a severe oxygen supply shortage.
During such a situation, while many countries and international companies are trying to help India as much as possible, Walmart said it will donate $2 million through its philanthropic arm, Walmart Foundation, to support local NGOs, such as Doctors for You, to operate isolation centres, as well as temporary hospitals.
Doug McMillon, who is the CEO of Walmart, said in a statement: “Walmart is a global family. We feel the impact of this devastating surge on our associates, families and friends across India and it's important that we come together to support however we can,”
He added that currently there is an initiative to combine Walmart's global capabilities and Flipkart's distribution network to ensure vital oxygen and supplies are made available to those who need them most.
“Our hearts are with everyone in India,” said McMillon.
However, apart from Walmart, two tech giants Google and Microsoft said that they will provide assistance in India.
Google said the company will provide a grant to UNICEF for urgent medical supplies, which includes oxygen and $18 million in aid.
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