COVID-19 Relief: Samsung Pledges $5mn to India, Paytm to Set Up Oxygen Plants in 13 Cities

Tech giant Samsung on Tuesday said it has pledged $5 million (Rs 37 crore), while Paytm Foundation intends to set up oxygen plants in 12-13 cities as part of efforts to support India’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Samsung will donate $3 million to the Centre and states of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and provide $2 million worth of medical supplies, including 100 Oxygen Concentrators, 3,000 Oxygen Cylinders, and one million LDS syringes (to Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu), a statement said.

LDS or Low Dead Space syringes minimise the amount of drug left in the device after injection, optimising vaccine usage. The technology has demonstrated up to 20 percent greater efficiency and if existing syringes were to deliver one million doses, LDS syringes could deliver 1.2 million doses with the same amount of vaccine. Samsung has helped the manufacturer of these syringes increase production capacity, the statement said.

Paytm said Paytm Foundation will set up oxygen plants in 12-13 cities. These oxygen plants would be directly installed at hospitals. It is in dialogue with state governments and hospitals for approvals to set up these oxygen plants that will be provided free of cost to government hospitals by the Paytm Foundation. Paytm Foundation has also sourced over 21,000 Oxygen Concentrators that would be sent to government hospitals, COVID care facilities, private hospitals, nursing homes as well as Resident Welfare Associations by mid-May.

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. Samsung said it will also cover the vaccination costs for over 50,000 eligible employees and beneficiaries in India as vaccine doses become available.

This will also include all Samsung Experience Consultants, who work at electronics retail stores across the country. Besides, Samsung has also set up in-house facilities and teams across the country to help employees and their families with information and access to medical supplies as well as hospital facilities and home care. In April 2020, Samsung had contributed Rs 20 crore to India’s fight against the pandemic. Paytm, which had announced a Rs 10 crore donation drive, said it has mirrored the amount – taking the total contribution to Rs 20 crore.

“While Oxygen Concentrators are good for short-term support, we figured out that oxygen plants could provide our healthcare system with larger support. Hence, we decided to direct our donations to build oxygen plants at government hospitals for free…We are optimistic that with the right resources and empathy for our fellow countrymen, we will not only survive this crisis but also come out stronger,” a Paytm spokesperson said.

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