CEOs of 40 US companies create global task force to help India fight Covid
In a show of solidarity, CEOs of some 40 top American companies have come together to create a global task force to mobilise resources to help India fight the battle against COVID-19.
A collective initiative of the US-India Business Council of the US Chambers of Commerce, and the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum and Business Roundtable, the task force during its meeting here on Monday committed to get 20,000 oxygen concentrators to India in the next few weeks, Deloitte CEO Puneet Renjen told PTI.
The new US public-private partnership to provide India critical medical supplies, vaccines, oxygen and other life-saving assistance amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases is called the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response: Mobilizing for India.
The first-of-its-kind country-specific global task force to address a public health crisis in another country was addressed by US Secretary of State Tony Blinken.
The conversation showed how the United States and India can leverage the expertise and capabilities of the US private sector towards solutions for India's COVID-19 crisis, Blinken said in a tweet.
"A number of American companies have come together over the weekend. We are focused on doing our very best to help in any way that we possibly can. As the prime minister said, we were very confident, our spirits were up after successfully tackling the first wave, but this storm has shaken the nation. It is up to us to help in any way possible," Renjen said in response to a question.
Observing that the first issue is around oxygen and its concentrators, Renjen said they have commitments to get 20,000 oxygen concentrators to India in the next few weeks.
The first 1,000 will arrive in the middle of this week, he said, adding that by May 5, they expect another 11,000 oxygen concentrators to reach the country.
"Our goal is to get 25,000, and maybe even a number higher than that," he added.
The second issue is to look at oxygen cylinders with 10-litre and 45-litre capacity and to get other supplies like monitoring kits, Renjen said.
"I am very pleased with the fact that these companies have come together. We're working with the USISPF, as well as the USIBC and with the Business Roundtable to coordinate this effort to help India in any way that that is required, he said.
Welcoming the call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden and the decision of the US to urgently send supplies to India, the Deloitte CEO reiterated that the two countries are natural allies.
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