• 02:32 Apr 04, 2020

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Tech companies and their take on combating the Coronavirus

By: Ayush Mahapatra, The Mobile Indian, Kolkata Last updated : March 25, 2020 2:45 pm

Tech giants around the world are taking initiatives to help their employees and the world in this fight against this deadly virus. Here’s a list of tech companies and their take on this pandemic.
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With the Coronavirus engulfing the world in fear and pushing everyone into the homes with the fear of contamination, tech giants around the world are taking initiatives to help their employees and the world in this fight against this deadly virus. Here’s a list of tech companies and their take on this pandemic.

 

Microsoft

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Microsoft has been actively helping out the world with its technology and resources while keeping their employees safe. They have initiated a work from home regime in order to minimize the risk of contamination. Microsoft has also launched a coronavirus tracker on Bing that links to relevant local information in each country. In order to make work from home easier, they have announced new capabilities in Microsoft teams for easier communication and collaboration.

 

“We're partnering with the CDC to make its Coronavirus Self-Checker available to all. In addition to helping users self-assess using CDC's protocols, it will free healthcare workers to provide critical care to those who need it most.” Said their CEO, Satya Nadella.

 

Facebook and WhatsApp

 A joint effort by WhatsApp and it’s parent company Facebook has helped people around the globe access reliable information regarding the pandemic. Facebook has vouched to ban ads that display a “cure” for the virus thus curbing misinformation. They are also trying to link people to reputable sources such as the World Health Organization and local resources.

 

It’s also matching $20 million in donations and giving the WHO free ad space to get its message out. WhatsApp has taken special initiatives in India by working with  MyGov Indian and launching a text-based corona helpdesk whose WhatsApp number is +91 9013151515.

 

Facebook also made information regarding the virus available on everybody’s Facebook page. “We've worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) on a way to get authoritative information about coronavirus sent directly to your WhatsApp. With WHO Health Alerts, you can receive their daily situation report, which has the latest numbers of cases by country around the world, as well as tips on how to protect yourself, and answers to frequently asked questions that you can easily send to friends and family. So many people wanted this service that even before we could announce it, people shared the link around WhatsApp and almost half a million people had already signed up.” said Zuckerberg.

 

 

Twitter

The social networking app Twitter is also doing its part by education people with the right information regarding the COVID-19 virus. They have recently updated their travel policy along with stepping up its internal and external efforts to build partnerships, protect the public conversation, help people find authoritative health information, raise relief funds, and contribute pro bono advertising support to ensure people are getting the right message, from the right source.

 

They have updated their search prompt so when you search for any information regarding the COVID-19, you are met with credible, authentic information from reliable sources. They will also be monitoring ads that might use the Covid-19 outbreak to target inappropriate ads. They are also committing Ads for Good credits to nonprofit organizations to ensure they can build campaigns to fact-check and get reputable health information to the widest possible audiences.

 

They will also be furthering their partnerships with relevant multinational stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, numerous global government and public health organizations, and officials around the world, to ensure they can troubleshoot account issues, get their experts verified, and seek strategic counsel as they use the power of Twitter to mitigate harm.

 

“We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress,” said Jack Dorsey, CEO.

 

 

 

Tech Mahindra

 

The Indian IT giant Tech Mahindra, has gone all out for the safety and security of its employees. They have imposed a work from home regime thus reducing the chances of them being infected in the workplace. They installed contactless login systems in their offices for those who have to come to the office.

 

They have made efforts such as conduction meetings via video conferencing, sending workstations at home, providing laptops etc. “Associate welfare & safety remain paramount @tech_mahindra We're enabling WFH wherever possible, post client & security clearances. All measures are being taken to ensure our associates are put to minimal risk. These are tough times..but together, we will overcome.” said CP Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra.

 

Google

 

The search engine giant Google, has taken some major steps in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. They launched a website along with the US government that screens you for symptoms of coronavirus by using a series of questions and then directs you to the nearest medical centre.

 

Google has partnered with the federal govt + other leaders in technology & academia to provide Google Cloud high-performance computing resources to researchers working on potential COVID19 treatments & vaccines. They are also actively supporting learning from home by launching a $10M Distance learning Fund and also launching a  global resource to help teachers stay connected with students.

 

“We’re rolling out Teach from Home, a tools & resources hub to help teachers continue teaching during school closures. We’re also establishing a $10M Distance Learning fund to support orgs that help remove barriers for students learning remotely. #COVID19” said Pichai.

 

Paytm

The e-wallet app Paytm is doing its part in this fight against the Coronavirus. They have launched the ‘India Fights Corona’ campaign to help prevent & manage the spread of novel coronavirus in communities with the greatest need.

 

They are being supported by Lifebuoy, the hygiene brand from Unilever and YouWeCan, a foundation established by Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh. They have also added different organization in their ‘Donation’ section and are appealing to fellow Indians to donate money which will be used to distribute Lifebuoy hygiene products among vulnerable sections of the society.

 

The amount raised will be used to procure & distribute soaps and hand wash to people who need it the most — including people who are part of our everyday life, such as our house helps, security guards, drivers and vegetable vendors among others. They are also enforcing a work from the home regime in order to protect their employees from being infected.

 

Infosys

The IT infrastructure company Infosys, has also joined hands against the COVID-19. Infosys has taken major steps towards protecting the health of their employees. They began sending their trainees home in batches from its Mysuru campus as a precautionary measure amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.

 

The company has ensured the working and learning regime will continue via a remote medium. Employees and trainees are now being engaged by a work/learn from home regime. They will be utilising Lex, their digital learning and talent transformation platform for trainees. They will also make sure their IT infrastructure around the globe keeps running in this time of crisis.

 

 

Intel

The chip-making giant has put its employees first in this time of crisis. They have recommended their employees to work-from-home if their roles allow. In order to safeguard their manufacturing and other employees that will continue to work on-site, they are reducing the seating capacity in cafeterias and limiting in-person meeting attendance. They first put these policies in place at their sites in China, and they have helped keep our employees safe and our operations running. 

 

They will continue to pay pay-in-full Intel’s hourly workers. For at least the next two months, this policy also extends to hourly workers employed by Intel service partners around the world, regardless of changes to service levels due to their remote-work and social distancing policies. They will also aid employees who are in self-quarantine or need assistance with childcare or eldercare.

 

They have taken steps to maintain a clean and sanitized labs and factories. In addition, Intel is applying its technology and expertise to help better understand and combat the virus. For example, Intel and Lenovo have teamed up with Beijing-based BGI Genomics to accelerate the analysis of genomic characteristics of COVID-19. Our combined work will further advance the capabilities of BGI’s sequencing tools to help scientists investigate transmission patterns of the virus and create better diagnostic methods. 

 

Intel will continue to look for opportunities to assist our partners and customers in this urgent and important work. Intel’s Pandemic Leadership Team, in partnership with Intel’s Corporate Emergency Operations Center, is closely monitoring any changes in the global environment.

 

“We wouldn’t be able to manage this challenging situation effectively without the help of our entire Intel family. Thank you for supporting each other throughout the past few weeks and for being understanding of the unusual demands this situation has placed upon many of our sites and people. We will continue to put our employees’ welfare and customers’ needs front and centre in all our decision-making. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. I am very proud of how we are living our One Intel values.” Said Intel CEO, Bob Swan.

 

 

Qualcomm

The mobile chipmaker has its priorities straight. They have instructed all of their employees to work from home in order to protect them from being exposed to the coronavirus. In an email sent to employees, the company moved to "a global required work from home policy for employees who are able to perform their job remotely" effective immediately through March 27.

 

"Certain employees will be identified as 'onsite critical,' which means that your work is both critical to the continuity of business operations and requires onsite presence to perform your work duties," the company's email read. The company is taking preventive and proactive measures to protect its employees from the deadly virus.

 

Bharti Airtel

The Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel is doing its bit to fight the COVID-19. In a letter by the CEO, Gopal Vittal was all the steps taken by the company to fight this deadly virus. All of Airtel’s services are digital thus removing the need of you leaving your house. T

 

he company has taken steps to improve their home broadband and network performance for the sake of those working from home. They have ensured the safety of their workers by initiating a work from the home regime for their employees. On-field employees will be taken care of as the company is providing all the necessary protective gears such as masks, sanitizers etc. Operational redundancy and digital self-care will also be taken care in order to prevent a complete shutdown in case of a crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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