Capgemini commits Rs 50 cr to augment medical infra in India to tackle COVID crisis

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New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) IT major Capgemini on Monday announced a Rs 50 crore fund to build COVID care ICU facilities, oxygen generation plants, other long-term medical infrastructure and provide relief operations amid the deadly second wave of the pandemic.

In addition, the French firm is also contributing Rs 5 crore to UNICEF to provide immediate support across India for critical COVID-19 response care, by setting up three oxygen generation plants and RT-PCR testing machines.

German tech major SAP has also announced a doubling of its COVID-19 Emergency Fund that was announced last year to 6 million euros.

Capgemini said in a statement it is in discussions with various state government authorities to set up healthcare facilities across those cities where the company has its presence. Its latest contribution is in addition to the Capgemini CSR statutory fund in India.

'India is at the heart of what we do in Capgemini, and the health and safety of our employees and the communities we live in, remains our top priority. This second wave of the pandemic in India has been particularly challenging, and we want to ensure all our support to fight this pandemic and come out stronger,' Capgemini CEO Aiman Ezzat said.

At this critical time, the company is committed to accelerating medical assistance in India through the Capgemini Social Response Unit, Ezzat added.

Ashwin Yardi, CEO of Capgemini in India, said the company is also striving to extend help to the communities by providing access to critical care, which is required immediately for the fight against COVID-19 as well as medical needs in the coming years.

In 2020, Capgemini's Social Response Unit (SRU) provided 65 fully equipped ICU beds to three BMC hospitals in Mumbai, as well as 100 Oxygen Concentrators (OC) and 65 High Flow Nasal Cannulas (HFNC) to 15 government hospitals in Bengaluru.

These ICU beds, which are fully equipped with ventilators, ECG monitors, and other critical ICU patient-monitoring devices, are currently being used to treat patients critically affected by COVID-19.

In a separate statement, SAP said of its new donation of 3 million euros, 1 million euros will go to COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, and the WHO, as well as a long-term SAP partner, UNICEF.

'Beyond that donation, we will use the emergency fund to support India-based employees, their families, and the communities in which they live and work,' it added.

Local SAP India teams are facilitating vaccination to employees and their families at SAP Labs India facilities, it noted.

The massive rise in infections in the second wave of the pandemic has led to hospitals in several states reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. Social media timelines are filled with SOS calls with people looking for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors, and ventilators.

Organisations across the spectrum have come forward to source and donate oxygenators, breathing machines, and ventilators.

IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and HCL Technologies are taking a number of steps to contribute to these efforts, including setting up COVID care centres at their facilities.

Accenture said it is providing health support to its employees and their dependents, including 24/7 doctor teleconsultation and mental wellness counselling helplines.

'Our efforts underway include providing ventilators, oxygen concentrators, and medical kits; COVID-19 support kits and PPE kits to healthcare workers supporting marginalized communities; and food and COVID-19 at-home care kits to unemployed and poor people. We are also engaging with state governments to support vaccination camps and local language call centres,' it added.

The company is working with its medical partner network to support its employees and their family members who have tested positive and need emergency medical assistance, it said.

'We have also launched a Home Care Service for our people and their family members who experiencing symptoms and are under quarantine or are awaiting hospitalisation.

“The assistance package includes medical care and advisory services for the 14-day quarantine period, including daily remote nursing support for vitals monitoring, consultations with physicians, dieticians and psychologists and home isolation kits which include a pulse oximeter, face shields and other essential items prescribed by health practitioners for medical care at home,' it added. PTI SR BAL BAL