The daily case count is inching higher and the paucity of oxygen has left COVID-19 patients in India gasping for breath. The government has widened the scope of CSR during the second wave to include setting up of plants for generating and storing oxygen, supply of oxygen concentrators, cylinders and medical equipment for Covid relief.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs clarified on May 5, 2021 that Covid-related expenditure is eligible as corporate social responsibility. The activities include setting up makeshift hospitals and facilities for Covid patients, facilities for the generation and storage of medical oxygen, manufacturing and supply of oxygen concentrators, ventilators, cylinders and other medical equipment for treatment of COVID-19.
Private companies have been working towards mitigating the shortage of oxygen even before the MCA’s announcement. Business conglomerate Wave Group joined hands with district authorities across Delhi, Noida, and the Department of Industries, Lucknow to ramp up oxygen, medicines and water supply in Uttar Pradesh. The state has emerged as one of the worst-hit states in India with an active caseload breaching 2 lakh. The situation is grim especially for the weaker sections of society facing financial crunch to buy medicines. Lack of potable water in the scorching heat, especially for people standing outside cremation grounds and testing centres is adding to the grim situation.
Considering the oxygen shortage in the region, Wave Group has till now made available a total of 60 oxygen concentrators. Out of these, 20 portable oxygen concentrators have been handed over to Manoj Kumar Chaurasia (DY Commissioner of Industries), Department of Industries, Uttar Pradesh. A few have been delivered to Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) for further distribution. To aid medicine procurement for the needy, Wave Group has donatd Rs. 10 lakh to the Delhi Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (DGPC). Previously, the organisation in a week-long drive had also distributed hundreds of boxes of mineral water bottles across multiple districts of Uttar Pradesh such as Amroha, Bijnor and Bulandshahar for people waiting outside crematoriums.
Gurugram-based Elanpro aka Elan Professional Appliances, is providing 2050 Oxygen Concentrators at zero-profit. The commercial refrigeration company has airlifted 2050 oxygen concentrators across India for distribution at zero-profit price. The first slot of oxygen concentrators landed on 30th April 2021.
The company has been reaching out to several NGOs and hospitals to lend a helping hand to the district and rural areas. Deepening its engagement with the government, the company has also reached out to Gurugram District Commissioner’s office to contribute 100 units of Oxygen concentrators in COVID Centre at Gurugram. Along with this initiative, Elanpro is also working with organizations that are arranging vaccination drives for the public. The company is looking to share 1500 to 2000 units of Vaccine Refrigerators at a subsidized rate.
To support India during the current surge, Lowe’s is contributing Rs. 40 crores towards COVID-19 relief. The funds will support the procurement of medical equipment, oxygen concentrators and cylinders, oxygen generation plants and vaccination drives for the underserved. Lowe’s US has also shipped thousands of PPE kits materials to India for the use of front-line workers.
To cope with the acute Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) shortage crisis faced by the hospitals in Goa due to sudden surge in Covid positive cases, Vedanta Sesa Goa Iron Ore Business began the supply of 3 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) on a daily basis to the Goa State Government and Hospitals. The Liquid Medical Oxygen is being generated in Vedanta Value Added Business’s (VAB) at Amona, Goa and will be delivered to Goa Medical College Oxygen Storage Reservoirs.
Vedanta VAB Oxygen Plant was initially established to produce gases used in the Blast Furnace operation of Pig iron making. However, last year, when the first wave of Covid hit the state, Vedanta extended support to the State by loading the “first liquid oxygen tanker” generated from VAB’s Oxygen Plant.