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COVID-19 2nd Wave: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff sends oxygen concentrators to India

India saw a record 4,187 fatalities due to COVID-19 in a single day, taking the country's death toll to 2,38,270, according to the Union health ministry data updated today

May 08, 2021 / 10:42 AM IST
Marc Benioff, founder of Cloud software giant Salesforce. (File image)

Marc Benioff, founder of Cloud software giant Salesforce. (File image)


An aircraft with oxygen concentrators is on the way to India, said Marc Benioff, founder of Cloud software giant Salesforce, on May 8, as he wished that all Indians to be “protected, healed and blessed”.

“Our aircraft is in the air!  Salesforce has now partnered with @HSBC to deliver much needed oxygen concentrators. The 1st plane Airplane is airborne & on the way! Our hearts continue to be with our brothers & sisters in India. May they all be protected, healed, & blessed! (sic),” Benioff tweeted in the morning.

India saw a record 4,187 fatalities due to COVID-19 in a single day, taking the country's death toll to 2,38,270, while 4,01,078 new infections were reported in a day, pushing the tally to 2,18,92,676, according to the Union health ministry data updated on the day. Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 37,23,446, comprising 17.01 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 81.90 percent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Earlier in the wee hours of the day, Benioff had tweeted that Salesforce had loaded a Boeing 787 in Shanghai with medical supplies including oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters. “It will land it in India tomorrow for Red Cross,” he had said.

Salesforce, which has over 4000 employees in India, has already announced that it would be donating $1 million in India, reported The Economic Times.

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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.

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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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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The donated money will be used towards local partners focused on medical equipment sourcing, community isolation centres and creating vaccine awareness in the country.

In a press release, the company said, "there is heightened demand for plasma donations throughout India, so we have built a process in Quip and using other technology tools to connect our employees — who may be donors or donees – to facilitate these conversations safely and securely."

Employees in India are also manning a 24/7 volunteer helpline to provide Salesforce employees and families COVID-related information.
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 8, 2021 10:42 am

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