Digital payments platform Paytm, owned by One97 Communications, has committed Rs 5 crore to help innovators, research teams and firms working on solutions to curb the shortage of clinical ventilators and other medical solutions amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Noida headquartered company has also launched a campaign, India Fights Corona, to help prevent the spread of the virus, according to a statement. It has received support from Unilever-owned hygiene brand Lifebuoy and YouWeCan, a non-government organisation set up by cricketer Yuvraj Singh for the same.
In the first phase, the company will distribute 10 lakh soaps and hand washes to people who cannot afford it, at no cost. Post that, it will transfer the money raised via user donations on its app and website to YouWeCan, which will procure and distribute more soaps and hand washes, the statement added. Additionally, users can claim deduction under Section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for donations made to the campaign, the company said.
In these tough times, several companies have announced support for people who are unable to procure food or find accommodation during the lockdown.
Earlier this week, budget hospitality chain OYO reached out to state governments across India with a proposal to convert its hotel spaces into pay-per-use self-quarantine facilities for travellers amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Online home rental marketplace Nestaway Technologies slashed its one-time charge by half for tenants moving from a paying guest (PG) accommodation into one of its homes during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Last week, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) issued an advisory to about five lakh member restaurants to stop dine-in services till March 31, but continue to deliver food via aggregators such as Swiggy and Zomato.
Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) set up a health alert number on Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp to spread awareness on Covid-19. The Indian government also launched a WhatsApp chatbot called MyGov Corona Helpdesk for its citizens.
In India, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken at least nine lives so far, and infected about 500 others. With a lockdown in place across the country, India is hoping to break the chain of Coronavirus spread.