The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the worst-ever globally with over 50 lakh cases reported in India over the last 15 days. According to the data shared by the Union Ministry of Health, India currently has over 300,000 active cases every day, while the total number of cases recorded so far has crossed the two crore mark. In the wake of a struggling yet defiant healthcare system, it can use all the help it can get. And auto manufacturers are trying to contribute in their own way towards this massive crisis. Here's a look at all the COVID-19 announcements made by OEMs in the past few days.
The Bajaj Group has announced that it will commit ₹ 200 crore to fight COVID-19 in India. This is in addition to the ₹ 100 crore that was donated by the company last year for the same cause. The financial support will be utilised to alleviate the on-ground challenges, to build capability and stock resources to tackle a possible third wave, the company said in a statement. The Bajaj Group also helped in facilitating the procurement of 12 oxygen plants to provide over 5,000 LPM (litres per minute) supply to rural and urban hospitals, along with medical life-saving equipment like oxygen concentrators, ventilators and BiPaps (Bi-level positive airway pressure) to help treat COVID-19 patients.
Hero MotoCorp announced a slew of relief efforts under its 'Hero WeCare' platform. Hero has partnered with the Ramakrishna Mission Sevashram, Kankhal in Haridwar, Uttarakhand to bolster the town's healthcare system and response to COVID-19. The company is also working to boost the capacity of rapid-response teams and other emergency medical facilities. It will also help the mission to deploy an immediate health preparedness plan to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in Haridwar. Furthermore, the two-wheeler giant is providing its two-wheelers for health workers in seven hospitals in and around Dharuhera in Haryana, four hospitals in Uttarakhand, four hospitals in Gurugram in Haryana, three hospitals in Jaipur, and one each in Alwar in Rajasthan, and near Halol in Gujarat.
Additionally, Hero has contributed oxygen cylinders to a few hospitals in Delhi and Haryana. The company has donated PPE kits to health authorities in various states for the frontline workers. It will also step up efforts to collaborate with local hospitals to fight COVID-19.
Hyundai India announced a relief package of ₹ 20 crore which will be donated through its philanthropic arm, Hyundai Motor India Foundation (HMIF). As a part of the Hyundai Cares 3.0 relief initiative, the automaker will offer infrastructural assistance to the affected states of Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The company said that it will deploy resources by setting up oxygen generating plants in hospitals. It will also help hospitals to become self-sufficient in oxygen. Hyundai will also install Medicare facilities and provide support staff to various hospitals and cater to their operational cost for the next three months and beyond. The Korean auto giant also plans to augment mobile medical units and telemedicine clinics in rural areas to curb COVID-19.
Mahindra & Mahindra
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group announced the 'Oxygen on Wheels' project in a bid to ease the transportation of oxygen in the state of Maharashtra. The new project aims to facilitate speedy transportation of oxygen from manufacturing plants to hospitals, homes and other healthcare centres. The company has pressed into service 100 vehicles to overcome the transportation bottleneck to deliver oxygen cylinders 'on demand'. Moreover, 'Oxygen on Wheels' will partner with civic administration and hospitals to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
Ford Motor Company
American automaker Ford Motor Company recently announced it will be donated five million surgical masks, 100,000 N95 masks and 50,000 gowns to India via its philanthropy arm - Ford Fund. In addition, Ford Fund will be donating $200,000 to support organisations providing essential COVID-19 relief in India and Brazil. The contribution will be shared equally between the two countries to help families by delivering food, cleaning supplies, and other essential items.
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) Maharashtra will be raising ₹ 10 lakh to support the State Transport Department in the fight against the coronavirus. The apex body says that it will fix 250 oxygen tankers with GPS devices enabling the transport department to monitor them on a single dashboard which has been set up in the Transport Commissioner's office and is being monitored 24x7. The ₹ 10 lakh generated by FADA Maharashtra will be used for procuring the GPS devices.
MapMyIndia will provide free GPS tracking systems to oxygen and medical equipment transporter vehicles across the country. This will ensure that the medical supply chain remains smooth and uninterrupted. The announcement was made late last month and is in just in time with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) mandate to have GPS trackers in all vehicles carrying oxygen.
MG Motor India
The company reports that the production of oxygen has gone up from 36 cylinders an hour to 41 cylinders an hour
MG Motor India stepped up and collaborated with Vadodara-based Devnandan Gases, to increase the production of medical oxygen. The two companies targeted an increase of 25 per cent within two weeks and now MG reports that they have been able to increase production by 15.2 per cent within a week's time. Currently, average daily production of oxygen has increased from 6,056 to 6,979 m3, an increase of 923 m3 in production volume. The company reports that the production of oxygen has gone up from 36 cylinders an hour to 41 cylinders an hour. Devnandan Gases Pvt Ltd. is one of the key medical oxygen gas producers of Vadodara. MG Motor India is focused on assisting the overall oxygen gas production.