Global financial services giant Goldman Sachs on Thursday announced an additional USD 10 million support to help India fight the surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths.
The US-headquartered firm will provide support for frontline health facilities in cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi, including ongoing vaccination efforts through the help, an official statement said.
Frontline health facilities include portable COVID-19 care centers, oxygen concentrators and generators, and isolation care units at homes for non-critical patients from low income communities, it said, adding funds will also be deployed on mental wellbeing to aid a faster economic recovery in communities.
The company joins a slew of multinationals including Google, Apple, Microsoft and Blackstone, who have announced to render help to India, after the second wave of pandemic.
Over the last few days, India has been officially reporting over 3 lakh new infections and over 2,000 deaths a day due to COVID-19. Medical infrastructure in the country is already under tremendous pressure and experts say the wave is expected to hit a peak not before mid-May.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"India is home to three Goldman Sachs offices and we have a responsibility to respond and provide our firm''s support and assistance," its chairman and chief executive David M Solomon said.
The firm has already committed USD 1 million to India in 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic towards distribution of food and essential supplies to help displaced segments of the population due to the pandemic."We are proud to support India in combating this crisis, helping to augment its medical infrastructure and drive vaccination efforts," its chairman and chief executive for India, Sonjoy Chatterjee, said.