COVID-19
Response & Resources

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USIBC Resources

The U.S.-India Business Council is working with our members, the U.S. Government, and the Government of India to resolve issues related to the operation and movement of essential goods, businesses and personnel. In India, USIBC is collaborating with Invest India to address operational issues for industry, and Invest India has assigned staff to provide oversight for cases that are raised by the Council. USIBC members can use the “Write to Us” and WhatsApp Live Chat buttons in the left menu bar of the Business Immunity Platform. If you are asking for exemption from shutdown of non-essential business activity in a particular location, you can request support from Invest India in addition to engaging the state and/or municipal authorities. Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Number of impacted employees
  • Location of impacted operations
  • Justification for seeking exemption
  • Protective measures your firm is prepared to take including transportation, safety, and health precautions for impacted operations

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources

The U.S. Chamber is collecting information and facilitating information sharing on coronavirus through the Combating the Coronavirus page on the web. You can also check out the Chamber’s Coronavirus Response Toolkit for businesses.

Since the passage of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, many companies have focused on how the funds will be disbursed. This is a particularly critical question for small businesses, who have less flexibility to absorb the costs of a shutdown. With this in mind, the Chamber published a guide to provisions in the Act, What Businesses Need to Know, as well as more detailed information designed to support small businesses seeking financial support:

The U.S. Chamber has also played a leading role in advocacy during the COVID-19 period to ensure that businesses get the financial support needed and that governments remove barriers to the essential medical goods and services needed to fight the pandemic.

Economic Impact

As businesses shutter and people remain in their homes across the globe, the global economy is already beginning to feel the impact – and the after-effects are projected to last well into the months ahead. Here is some preliminary analysis of the COVID-19 shutdown on the Indian and global economy.

  • World Bank | Goldman Sachs Sees India GDP Growth Plunge to 1.6% In FY21
  • Asian Development Bank | India’s Growth to Slow to 4% in FY2020, Recover to 6.2% in FY2021
  • OECD | Outlook on the Global Economy
  • PTI/Bloomberg Quint | India’s GDP For FY21 Projected At 4.8%, Says UN Report
  • Goldman Sachs | Oil’s Seismic Shock
  • International Labour Organization | COVID-19 and the world of work
  • COVID-19: Economic Impacts: Beware the Ides of March (KPMG)
  • COVID-19: Impact on Industry and the Economy (Confederation of Indian Industry)
  • How COVID-19 will reshape Global Gas (CSIS Commentary)

Businesses Combatting COVID-19

Essential businesses are working around the clock to ensure that their goods and services can reach healthcare workers, first responders, and ordinary citizens across both countries. Across industries, many of our members are reinventing their businesses to create personal protective equipment and adapting their services to fit the needs of the current crisis response, as well as contributing to relief initiatives like providing food and shelter for the needy; supporting a transition to virtual education for thousands of students; and developing new tracking and response technology. To contribute to our running #Biz4Good list, members should reach out to Priyanka Sethi and Carolyn Posner.

In the US, 3M has increased capacity production of N95 respirators, strong measures to combat price gouging and counterfeiting, and new partnerships to help protect our healthcare workers on the front lines. Beginning in January 2020 3M has ramped up to maximum production of N95 respirators, doubling their global output to a rate of 1.1 billion per year, or 100 million per month. This includes 35 million per month in the United States, and recently have delivered 10 million N95 respirators to healthcare facilities in states across the country.
3M has increased the production of respirators, surgical masks and hand sanitisers in the range of 35% to 40% and almost exclusively directing supplies to a large number of government and private healthcare providers, front-line healthcare workers and nodal agencies in India.
Abbott RT-PCR Molecular test: Abbott’s COVID-19 SARS-COV-2 was granted EAU by USFDA. The COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 assay is based on Multiplex RT-PCR technology which can be used on the m2000 system, 64 of which are already installed across India in government centers under the National AIDS Control (NACO) HIV Viral Load testing program. Abbott will start India supplies towards the 3rd week of April. Antibody rapid lateral flow test: Abbott has developed the Antibody Rapid test for CoVid-19 which can meet the current requirement of screening/testing of individuals for CoVid-19. These antibody tests can be conducted by lab technicians in the remote setting by using whole blood/serum/plasma and results in 15 minutes (Qualitative Yes/No). Abbott will be supplying the products to the Indian market towards the end of April 20, 2020.
Apple Inc. and Google have teamed up to roll out a new system for tracking through Bluetooth technology the contacts of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, a method the tech giants stressed that they developed with privacy and security in mind.
VIASURE SARS-CoV-2 S gene Real Time PCR Detection Kit is designed for the specific identification and differentiation of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in respiratory samples from patients with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection. This test is intended to be used as an aid in the identification in the diagnosis of COVID-19 in combination with patient’s clinical signs and symptoms and epidemiological risk factors. The assay uses the BD MAX™ System for automated extraction of RNA and subsequent real-time PCR employing the reagents provided combined with universal reagents and disposables for the BD MAX™ System. RNA from respiratory specimens is detected using fluorescent reporter dye probes specific for SARS-CoV-2.
Cepheid has developed an automated molecular test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The test leverages the design principles of our current Xpert® Xpress Flu/RSV cartridge technology, in which multiple regions of the viral genome are targeted. The test can provide rapid detection of the current pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in approximately 45 minutes with less than a minute of hands on time to prepare the sample. It has already been introduced in India.
Eli Lilly and Company has entered into an agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to study baricitinib as an arm in NIAID’s Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial. The study will investigate the efficacy and safety of baricitinib as a potential treatment for hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19, beginning this month in the U.S. with a planned expansion to additional sites including Europe and Asia. Results are expected within the next two months.
ExxonMobil has donated 9,000 face masks, 45,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 PPE kits to three leading hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. As GoMechanic’s official mobility partner, they are supporting their "Open for Heroes" initiative that provides free maintenance services to emergency and other frontline vehicles. In Bengaluru, where ExxonMobil has biggest employee base, they have donated 800 safety kits to the Bengaluru City Police and 2,000 hygiene kits to the Bengaluru Municipal Corporation.    
Gilead has worked with speed, care and diligence to prepare for the possibility that the company’s investigational antiviral remdesivir may be found effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. Recent clinical trial results and the decision by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for remdesivir have highlighted the urgency of this work and the importance of planning for access to remdesivir globally. Gilead’s overarching goal is to make remdesivir both accessible and affordable to governments and patients around the world, where authorized by regulatory authorities.  Given the urgent needs of patients globally, the company is in discussions with some of the world’s leading chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies about their ability, under voluntary licenses, to produce remdesivir for Europe, Asia and the developing world through at least 2022.  
In India, Google has partnered with the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate contributions to the PM CARES fund through Google Pay. Google is also working closely with various ministries to help users to find useful information across our products and platforms and have rolled out an India-specific website on COVID-19 to share comprehensive information such as key helpline numbers, educational content, and a running snapshot of global and Indian statistics. With MyGov, Google is ​surfacing locations of food shelters & night shelters​ on Google Maps, Search and Google Assistant, to help migrant workers & affected people across cities. Google, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation coupled with other charitable organisations including Coil, ModusBox, Omidyar Network, and The Rockefeller Foundation, have joined forces to launch a charitable organisation that is aimed at bringing digital payments to developing countries.
IBM released Open P-TECH, a free digital education experience platform, available for everyone across the globe, with the goal of equipping young people and educators with knowledge about cybersecurity, AI and cloud computing, plus professional skills like resume writing and interviewing. IBM has also extended its online education resources to all for free. IBM is also offering the agritech start-ups a 30-day free trial of its Operations Dashboard from The Weather Company (TWC) to help these firms with supply chain operations. Farmers in India are getting ready to harvest Rabi Crops like wheat, barley, mustard, sesame and peas, but many agritech companies who manage supply chains are facing complex challenges due to the lockdown. “”The Dashboard can help supply chain managers make faster, more-informed decisions by combining our accurate weather forecasts with their unique business insights.
A fund of USD 50 million to help combat COVID-19 pandemic through pandemic response technology initiative has been set up by Intel. The fund will be utilised in speeding scientific research around coronavirus, accelerating access to technology for patient care, and ensuring access to online learning for students. Approximately USD 40 million, will fund the Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness which is aimed at accelerating diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development, and Intel Online Learning initiative which is aimed at providing students without access to technology with devices and online learning resources.
Jacobs is part of an international alliance that is seeking to convert shipping containers into plug-in pods to expand intensive-care units (ICUs) during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project, called Cura (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments) is focused on turning shipping containers into plug-in ICU pods. The pods are hosted in 20-foot intermodal containers, each equipped with all necessary medical equipment to treat two Covid-19 intensive-care patients. Jacobs is working in partnership with the World Economic Forum and individuals from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to support Cura.
The bank has extended benefits to customers who have been hurt by the ongoing coronavirus crisis by introducing measures such as waivers for late fees and a 90-day grace period for mortgage and auto loan payments.
MSD in India (subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc. USA) contributed INR 3.5 Crore to Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi’s PM Cares Fund towards fighting COVID19 in India. The Company is also exploring procurement and supply of essential items in addition to ensuring adequate supply of their critical medicines and vaccines in India.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is making face masks and hand sanitizers for its employees, the government and relief organizations who are on the front lines of the pandemic in India. Under the ‘P&G Suraksha India’ program the company is stepping up to support the government and those who are on the front line in India’s fight against COVID-19. To start with, P&G will donate 1.5 million masks to government and relief organizations to combat the spread of this pandemic.
Pfizer in India donated 40,000 N95 masks to healthcare workers, ventilators to hospitals and food packets through NGOs. Anti-Viral Compound Screening- Pfizer confirmed a lead compound and analogues are potent inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 3C-like (3CL) protease, based on the results of initial screening assays. In addition, preliminary data suggest the lead protease inhibitor shows antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Consequently, Pfizer will perform pre-clinical confirmatory studies, including further anti-viral profiling and assessment of the suitability of the lead molecule for IV administration clinically. In parallel, the company is also investing in materials that will accelerate the start of a potential clinical study of the lead molecule to third quarter 2020, three or more months in advance of earlier estimates, subject to positive completion of the pre-clinical confirmatory studies.
Qualcomm India has committed USD 1.5 million (about Rs 11.3 crore) towards the country's efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19 infection. The contributions will be made towards PM CARES Fund, and multiple relief and public healthcare infrastructure initiatives, a statement said. The public healthcare infrastructure efforts include enabling broader availability of COVID-19 test kits, preventive health screening, helping front-line police forces and healthcare workers with sanitization and personal protective equipment as well as relief work supporting feeding the needy and at-risk in various regions across India.
SAP has set up an India Solidarity Fund for migrant labor, vulnerable population, infected patients and senior citizens. SAP has also partnered with United Nations Development Plan (UNDP) India and HelpAge India to strengthen the public health requirements such as ventilators in hospitals, N-95 masks, sanitizers, monthly dry ration and food packets. With NITI Ayog’s Coalition for Rapid Anti-Covid Response (CRACR), SAP is proposing to build predective models to showcase various possible pandemic scenarious taking into account multiple variables.
TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment), under its CSR initiative, announced a free tractor rental scheme through its JFarm Services platform on the Uzhavan App, for 90 days starting April 1. This scheme will be available across 30 districts of Tamil Nadu. TAFE has brought together a large group of its Massey Ferguson and Eicher tractors and will offer over 4,400 tractors and 10,500 implements on a free of cost rental basis.

TCS continues to support mission critical technology backbones for leading global organizations, keeping them open for business. As a leading technology provider, TCS is working with more than 1,000 organizations across the world to keep them up and running. A pioneer in location independent work practices for the last 50 years, TCS has proactively deployed collaboration platforms, cloud enabled infrastructure and robust security practices, which positions us well to deal with this unprecedented situation. During the COVID-19 crisis, TCS is leveraging their R&D infrastructure to run multiple threads, looking for opportunities to support high priority needs across the world.

Uber has partnered with Flipkart and BigBasket in India to deliver essential items. Uber will not charge a commission on these rides, allowing drivers will keep 100% of the billed amount.
Visionet plans to train 1 lakh graduates over the next 5 years to make them employable in the information technology and BPM sector. It has started the first skill development batch of a 45-day programme with 500 young professionals. Unnati India provides free training platform on emerging technologies and Business Process Management processes to enable the youth of today to stay relevant in the global job market.

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TCS

TCS continues to support mission critical technology backbones for leading global organizations, keeping them open for business. As a leading technology provider, TCS is working with more than 1,000 organizations across the world to keep them up and ... Read More >>

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has donated 9,000 face masks, 45,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 PPE kits to three leading hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. As GoMechanic’s official mobility partner, they are supporting their "Open for Heroes" initiative that prov... Read More >>