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COVID-19 2nd Wave: Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella offer help in India's fight against coronavirus pandemic

Sundar Pichai is Google’s CEO whereas Satya Nadella is his Microsoft counterpart. Both are American citizens of Indian origins.

April 26, 2021 / 10:59 AM IST
Google's Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (File images)

Google's Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (File images)


Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella assured help to India in its hour of crisis as the country is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Devastated to see the worsening COVID crisis in India, said Pichai in a tweet on April 26:

"Today we’re announcing Rs 135 Crore ($18 million USD) in new funding for India. This includes two grants from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, totalling Rs 20 Crore ($2.6 million USD). The first is to GiveIndia to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses. The second will go to UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it’s needed most in India," said a statement shared by Pichai.

The statement further said, "It also includes donations from our ongoing employee giving campaign — so far more than 900 Googlers have contributed Rs 3.7 Crore ($500,000 USD) for organizations supporting high-risk and marginalized communities. "

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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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Nadella also tweeted on the same day, saying he was “heartbroken” by the current situation in India. The 53-year-old Indian-American business executive further said he was “grateful” that the US government is mobilizing to help.

This came after US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris assured India and its people of providing all assistance, including urgently sending necessary medical life-saving supplies and equipment, to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus crisis.

Nadella further said Microsoft will continue to use its “voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.”

India recorded 3,52,991 new COVID-19 cases in a day, the highest so far, according to the Union Health Ministry’s update on April 26. With this, the country’s total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,73,13,163 while active cases have crossed the 28-lakh mark, the ministry’s data showed. It recorded 2,812 COVID-19 deaths in the past one day, which took the death toll above 1.95 lakh, as per the data.

Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the novel coronavirus pandemic

Meanwhile, top US lawmakers rallied behind India urging the Biden administration to provide material and healthcare assistance to help save lives from the deadly coronavirus.

In a rare move, at a time when the Congress is bitterly divided on political lines, Senators Mark Warner from the ruling Democratic party and John Cornyn from the opposition Republican party jointly called on the White House to accelerate its assistance to India. As co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, we urged them to do everything possible to help our friends in India in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, Warner said.

(With inputs from PTI)

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.



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first published: Apr 26, 2021 10:59 am
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