Character in times of COVID-19
Guest Column: Neeraj Pratap Sangani, Chief Business Officer, Hansa Cequity, says the outbreak will redefine business, economics, politics, culture, healthcare, personal relationships & value systems
It has been an unprecedented week. We have been aware of the danger for some time now and are moving in the lower gears, waiting, watching, anticipating a little, going through the BCP, changing to top gear - enabling tech and infra set-up, prepping teams, actively engaging with clients, reviewing, micro-managing, shoring up finances, securing colleagues, endless calls, multiple scenarios…phew!
I must admit that this is one of the very few times where I have on occasions, felt helpless. The PM’s speech on March 19 was certainly a precursor of things to come but after that things just fell apart globally.
It’s very easy, in hindsight, to praise or criticise governments but the sheer magnitude of the problem has been overwhelming. In my opinion, humanity, all experts and global leaders have collectively failed to foresee the scale of the problem and take measures that could have protected the majority of people.
Every large country has a federal structure, but apparently, the world as one entity does not. Even though more than 140 countries on the last count have been hit, there is still no calibrated and coordinated global response. If there is one lesson we need to take from this crisis, it is that – countries cannot just pledge to protect their own citizens, they have to protect the entire humanity. There was a choice to be made between national isolation and global collaboration. The world made the wrong choice. Maybe closed-door efforts and diplomacy channels are working overtime, but no citizen across the world saw any of it, at least not yet and now it is too late. The stories I hear from Europe are heart-wrenching. This just shows massive lack of foresight, failure of planning, abrogation of duty, inability to take tough calls, lack of communication and aligning people, and compromising the future for short-term economic gains.
When we get out of this, on the other side of the pandemic we can be rest assured that the world would have pretty much changed, forever. Businesses while taking difficult and hard calls need to take cognisance of what precedents they will set for the future. Because history has repeatedly shown us that short-term decisions pretty much become the norm for the long term. A bad example, but nevertheless an accurate one, in politics is Article 370 (how a temporary provision endured for 70 years). That’s the nature of decision making. A decision is a decision – short term or long term that only time and circumstances decide.
However, what leaders can always do is to take the right decisions in the first place. This is the biggest global crisis that my generation has ever faced. It will redefine business, economics, politics, culture, healthcare, personal relationships, value systems. In short, it will lead to a huge upheaval and the human race will basically have to rewire itself. We are all looking at uncertainty for quite some time to come but some questions and decisions that will be character-defining are staring at us:
Business: What is the future of our business? Do we need to repurpose? Can we do business differently? How do we relook at our business model? How do we build a more sustainable business? How do we drive greater value? Decisions that have been dragged for years can look like obvious and instant choices right now. Leaders with courage and conviction will make their move now.
Process: How do we relook at Business Continuity Plans? Are some processes even relevant? How do we reduce overheads? How do we optimise resources and drive efficiencies?
People: How humanely will we treat our people? How will we retain their confidence? How will we enable their success? How will we reskill teams?
Technology: How do we leverage technology effectively? How do we use technology to drive new business models? How do we innovate and change the way we work?
Data: Look at the calibrated relief response from Canada for businesses. The government could do it because their data is very well organised and accurate. They are actually able to provide specific relief to different sections of the society without them having to ask for it or having to move a finger. That is the power of data.
China’s response in controlling the outbreak is also data-led. They did it by monitoring smartphones, using millions of facial recognition cameras, getting people to report their body temperatures, apps sharing info of infected people and many more such covert and overt surveillance measures.
In India, we are unable to provide even basic financial relief to specific sections of society and businesses because our data is unorganised, incomplete and inaccurate. Direct Benefit Transfer, Jan Dhan Yojana and such initiatives have helped but we are nowhere close to many other countries. That’s why millions of people are out on the streets because they have no help. The key question for businesses is – how to organize data better? How to fast track data-driven decisions? How to empower people directly interacting with customers with data?
The future of work is here. Businesses were calibrating their response for it over the last few years at a somewhat languid pace. The current pandemic has pressed the fast-forward button. It is time to reflect. Very soon there will be difficult choices and decisions to make. Let your character make the decision. Because, rest assured, you will be judged. Many reputations will be built and an equal number will be destroyed. Which side of the coin will you be on? On a lighter note, a popular Salman Khan song comes to mind – “Main karoon toh saala character dheela hain…” God speed and forward always!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com
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Myprotein pledges 12% from its sales in May towards India's Covid relief efforts
In addition to providing monetary support to various charities, the brand will also be donating 500 boxes of its protein brownies to Delhi Police
By exchange4media Staff | Jun 9, 2021 3:23 PM | 1 min read
So far, 1.25cr has already been raised through the brand’s Impact Week online sales event and a further 12% from Myprotein profits in the UK (where the company is headquartered) will be added to the fund. The money will go to the following charities:
• Milaap COVID-19 Oxygen Relief Fund will receive £37,000/INR 37,00,000/-, as well as additional funds following the brand’s Impact Week sales event
• Myprotein is pledging £30,000/INR 30,00,000/- to the Shri Anandpur Foundation, which will go towards setting up a local oxygen generator plant in Madhya Pradesh
• Khalsa Aid International will also receive £50,000/INR 50,00,000/- to support Covid patients
In addition to the monetary support, Myprotein will also be donating 500 boxes of its Protein Brownies to the Delhi Police
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Arijit Singh partners with GiveIndia & Facebook to extend COVID support to rural India
The singer intends to provide essential supplies like oxygen equipment, beds, medicines, food & financial assistance to those affected by pandemic, through a live fundraiser
By exchange4media Staff | Jun 4, 2021 5:54 PM | 3 min read
Arijit Singh, a singer and music composer, has collaborated with Facebook through its SocialForGood Initiative and GiveIndia to raise funds for COVID relief to support rural India. This is the first time Arijit is hosting a live fundraiser and through this campaign titled ‘Helping rural India breathe and stay safe”, Arijit intends to provide essential supplies such as oxygen equipment, beds, medicines, food and financial assistance to those affected by the pandemic in small towns and villages.
The relentless second wave of COVID-19 has already stretched the availability of essential medical equipment and crippled the healthcare infrastructure in cities. However, the problem has begun to escalate with the spread of the virus into the smaller towns and villages of the country.
Through his initiative, Arijit hopes to help provide medical equipment and healthcare needs to help those in such regions - like his own hometown of Murshidabad, West Bengal.
To support the initiative, donors can directly go to the GiveIndia fundraiser page and make a contribution to the cause. As a part of the campaign, Arijit will also be doing a livestream through Facebook from his village of Murshidabad on Sunday, June 6th, the details of which he will be announcing on his Facebook page. Fans can both enjoy the live concert, and make a contribution to his fundraiser on GiveIndia.
Commenting on the fundraising campaign, Arijit said, “I have grown up in a small town in Murshidabad in West Bengal and wouldn't be who I am if not for my small-town upbringing. Seeing how COVID is affecting the people of rural India and watching these regions lack the required infrastructure saddens me and improving things in these regions is of critical importance for the livelihood of crores of people.”
Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India added, “Facebook’s SocialForGood initiative is focused on supporting large community causes by bringing together public figures and creators to raise awareness and funding. We are happy to partner with Arijit Singh and GiveIndia for this cause and enable people to come together on our platform through music in these times and help raise funds for those in need.”
GiveIndia CEO and Founder 2.0 Atul Satija said, “While the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in the cities after a deadly peak is a ray of hope in these bleak times, the spread of the infection to rural areas is deeply worrying. These regions have inadequate health facilities and limited access to basic needs. It is critical to support our rural population with lifesaving medical supplies, put healthcare infrastructure in place where there is none, and help with nutrition and financial aid. GiveIndia is grateful to Arijit for his support through the campaign to minimise the negative impact of the pandemic in rural India.”
The concert will go live on the official Facebook page of Arijit Singh on 6th June at 8PM IST.
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For vaccines, India needs policy of 'One Nation, One Rate' for all states: Rajesh Tope
The Maharashtra Health Minister was in live conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now
By exchange4media Staff | Jun 3, 2021 9:07 AM | 3 min read
Maharashtra health minister, Rajesh Tope has said that even as the state is in the phase of gradually easing lockdown restrictions, it is already preparing for a possible third wave that may hit the children. The government has already set up a pediatric covid task force and put the administration on alert.
“We have alerted the administration to set up pediatric wards. Maharashtra has set up a pediatric task force with the best and brightest of brains from paediatrics and started implementing their suggestions,” Tope said, in live conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now.
Speaking at length about various odds and how the state is handling Covid-19, Tope on the issue of vaccination said that Maharashtra is aggressively preparing to vaccinate its entire population and has kept aside funds for the same. “We have the capacity and capabilities to vaccinate 10 lakh people per day. Only the issue is that vaccine is not available.”
Tope said the state floated a global tender to source vaccines, but none of the responses is up to the mark or complied with requirements. “Some have not given rates, others have not specified the delivery schedule.”
He appealed to the central government to come out with a policy for vaccine import for states.
“The centre must have a policy of One Nation, One Rate for all states and it must facilitate delivery schedule. Despite having all available resources due to these issues, we are not able to procure vaccine.”
Tope was in a live webcast of the Visionary Talk series held by public policy and governance analysis platform.
Tope who is the cabinet minister in the state assembly expressed concerns about rising Mucormycosis cases in Maharashtra where a single patient can require at least a hundred injections. He said the central govt should allot injections as per the number of cases in a state and when Maharashtra has the highest number of cases, it should get injections accordingly.
The state health minister while responding to a question on augmentation of health infrastructure and especially rural health infra said, “Health infrastructure has been exponentially ramped up. During covid, the government has made available 4.5 lakh covid beds and more than 2 lakh oxygen beds in the state. The govt sanctioned a fleet of 1000 ambulances. 500 are already on roads and the remaining 500 will be on roads in a month or 2.”
He added that the govt is filling up 100% sanctioned posts that have been lying vacant for the last 4-5 years along with increasing number of beds, equipment, doctors and paramedics in hospitals.
He also said that Maharashtra is moving in the direction where every district in the state should have its own medical college. “In the last 4-5 months the state cabinet has sanctioned proposals for 6 new medical colleges. Each medical college will be set up at the cost of Rs 700 Cr.”
Tope said that with the govt now giving relaxations to districts reporting low numbers and with industries and manufacturing already working to full capacities we are now in the phase of releasing lockdown restrictions. “Lockdown is the key to contain the virus’ he added.
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Producers Guild of India organises vaccination camp for members from June 1
Through these camps, thousands of production house personnel and crews will be vaccinated over the multi-day drive being held at Mehboob Studios
By exchange4media Staff | Jun 1, 2021 12:57 PM | 1 min read
Through these camps, thousands of production house personnel and crews will be vaccinated over the multi-day drive being held at Mehboob Studios, starting June 1' 2021.
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Myntra enables customers to use ‘Insider’ points for Covid relief
Over 33,000 Myntra customers from various cities have contributed more than 26 million insider points to the cause
By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2021 3:18 PM | 3 min read
Myntra has partnered with GiveIndia for a multi-faceted fundraising initiative. With a commitment to supporting the nation in this need of the hour, Myntra has enabled its customers to contribute generously, using their ‘Myntra Insider’ points, to COVID relief efforts, including towards the cost of refilling oxygen cylinders. Launched in May this year, the drive allows customers to use their Insider Points (the loyalty program points accumulated from shopping on the platform), to contribute to the cause, without having to actually contribute real money.
Since the commencement of the drive, over 33,000 customers from various cities have come forward and contributed more than 26 million Insider points. The donations through Myntra Insider points have helped in adding 1.5 lakh kilograms of oxygen and facilitating medical care facilities at over 11000 homes for the needy. Myntra is also extending support to healthcare heroes and critical patients at COVID centres and hospitals by providing essential medical supplies through its fundraiser campaign with GiveIndia. The composite value of the funds collected in partnership with GiveIndia, as part of both the activities, so far amounts to nearly INR 10 million.
Myntra’s association with GiveIndia is a testament to the use of technology for the good of the community while enabling customers with a seamless and effortless donation program.
Speaking on the initiative, Amar Nagaram, CEO, Myntra, said, “We are proud to play the role of an enabler, by providing our customers the opportunity to donate their Myntra Insider points for the larger good of the community. We are committed to and are constantly working towards identifying and initiating activities that contribute to the nation's collective efforts of saving lives and fighting the pandemic. We have also extended COVID Relief measures to our employees and partners, and amplified our contributions towards supporting the current healthcare needs of the nation through our partnership with GiveIndia.”
GiveIndia CEO and Founder 2.0 Atul Satija said, "We are very grateful to Myntra customers, who have become a valued part of our COVID relief work. Like last year, they have again come forward to support critical needs during the COVID crisis - this time raising funds to augment the overburdened health infrastructure. It is a wonderful example of India's citizens rallying together to help each other during the nation's greatest hour of need."
Launched in September 2018, ‘Myntra Insider’ is a unique loyalty program that offers a comprehensive package of tiered benefits and privileges for top Myntra customers as they engage and shop more on Myntra. The loyalty programme boasts of a host of one of its kind benefits, such as fashion advice through personalised styling sessions, VIP access to flagship sale events, and exclusive access to limited edition launches and collections. In addition, Myntra Insiders can also save big with exclusive vouchers and deals from Myntra and other lifestyle partners in the fitness, entertainment, health, food and travel space.
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How India Inc. backed employee wellbeing in the second wave
From setting up COVID-19 war rooms to special treatment and quarantine centres, Indian corporates are ramping up efforts to support employees during the relentless second wave
By Anjana Naskar | May 21, 2021 8:33 AM | 11 min read
As the country works to beat the overwhelming second wave of COVID-19 this summer, organisations have been quick to recognise their role not just in contributing to the relief efforts across the country but also to supporting and safeguarding their own employees at this time. With life-saving medicines, supplies and oxygen running out, and with citizens across the country scrambling to find hospital beds, India Inc. has rolled up its sleeves and has displayed its compassionate side in numerous ways. From helping employees with hospitalisation and treatment costs to setting up COVID care centres, these companies are going an extra mile to look after their employees’ well-being during this second deadly wave.
Some organisations have also pledged to look after the dependants of employees who lose their lives to the disease. Earlier this month, Borosil Ltd announced that the families of employees who lose their lives to COVID-19 will be given two years’ salary and their children’s education will be covered till graduation by the company. The company’s MD Shreevar Kheruka made the announcement on Twitter, stating that Borosil’s real assets are their employees and paying his respects to four employees that passed away recently after succumbing to the coronavirus. The company joins a list of several other organisations across the board that have been quick to recognise that employee welfare is critical during this humanitarian crisis. Another similar example was set by textile manufacturer RSWM Ltd. The company’s Managing Director, Brij Sharma announced on social media that the company will pay 50% of monthly salary to the family of an employee who loses his life due to COVID-19 for the next two years, while also contribute some part for the education of the employee’s children for the next three years and provide medical coverage to the family for three years, among other things. Similarly, Bajaj Auto has announced multiple support measures for its employees amidst the ongoing second wave. The brand has stated that in the case of an employee’s death due to COVID-19, the brand will be offering monetary support up to a period of two years after their demise. The brand will also provide support for dependant children’s education till graduation and ensure a five-year hospitalisation insurance for all the family members of the deceased employee.
Putting employee safety first
Indian conglomerate, Godrej too has undertaken a number of initiatives for the employees to heal during these testing times across its businesses. Godrej Properties recently announced a three day break for their teams to recuperate emotionally. Godrej Consumer Products is also giving a mandatory day off once a month to its employees to recharge and reset. “We shifted to remote work for all our office-based team members well before it was mandated by governments. As a precautionary measure, we have asked our sales team members in India to work from home too, and are leveraging technology to manage different aspects of our systems and engage with partners,” says Rahul Gama, Head - HR, Godrej Consumer Products. In addition, the company is also providing COVID-19 medical insurance and life insurance for its extended workforce including salesmen on distributor rolls, CFAs, drivers and computer operators. The emphasis on safety is in fact also echoed by other company leaders and HR heads. “At Crompton, we stuck to our belief that people come first,” states Satyajit Mohanty – Vice President – HR, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Limited, while explaining that the company is taking great care to ensure safety of people through its implementation of safety protocol for employees across the board.
Companies like OYO are in fact going the extra mile by costs for tests, medical equipment and medication for employees. An OYO spokesperson tells us, “We’re offering home care/home quarantine in COVID positive cases through the company’s insurance policy up to Rs 25,000 per family. Our policy also includes reimbursement for RT-PCR test, pulse oximeter and thermal scanner, oxygen charges, FDA certified medicines, masks and gloves, PPE kits, etc.” With WFH being the new norm and with isolation becoming a necessity for those who test positive, corporate firms are identifying ways to help employees recuperate while ensuring COVID norms are maintained. Take for example, e-learning platform upGrad that has partnered with five-star hotel properties to provide accommodation and created ‘Temporary Safe Workplace Bubbles’ for employees who were staying in rented accommodation or who returned to Mumbai to re-join the office. “upGrad is evaluating the COVID situation on a daily basis, and as the second wave intensifies, our utmost priority is the safety and comfort of our employees along with ensuring that they are mentally and emotionally at the right place in their lives,” explains Arjun Mohan, CEO - India, upGrad.
Given the grim reality, much like Borosil, several other companies are also putting in place policies in the event of an employee’s untimely demise on account of the pandemic. “The company will extend the following support to a deceased employee’s family: 50% of monthly salary for two years as living allowance; medical insurance for family (spouse and two kids) of Rs 5 lakh for 10 years; education fees for two kids up to graduation; consider spouse/children for suitable job roles based on company’s policy as per requisite qualification and skills,” says Kaustubh Sonalkar, Group CHRO, Welspun Group.
Ramping up relief efforts
Pharmaceutical company Mankind Pharma has developed a 700 bed facility in Gurgaon Civil lines for anyone who needs emergency care and is ensuring its Mediclaim policy covers all employees who need medical help during the pandemic. Joy Chatterjee, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Mankind Pharma shares, “Mankind Pharma works on three principles – people, product and process and in these tough times, we are ensuring our employees are safely working remotely and we offer support to those in need to promote positive mental health amongst employees.”
Many organisations are going beyond just vaccination and ensuring mental health for their employees – they are also assisting in finding medical care, hospital beds, quarantine facilities and providing home-cooked meals for their affected staff. Consumer goods company, Marico too has created a COVID war room for companies that need emergency help, including sourcing hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, medicines and plasma. “Our employees have time and time again proven to be the backbone of our organisation. As the second wave of COVID-19 is on the rise, we continue to keep people at the centre of all our critical business decisions,” says Amit Prakash, CHRO, Marico Limited. Online automobile marketplace, Droom too has set aside a budget of Rs 1 crore to support employees and dealers during these times. It has also set up a SWAT team to verify all leads regarding oxygen supply, hospital beds, food suppliers, plasma donors, and COVID-related life-saving drugs.
All hands on deck
Aside from employers, employees are also rallying in support of each other during these trying times, helping arrange essentials and medication for those in need. “During the pandemic, last year, we started Trust@CARS24 with a commitment to help those employees who needed financial assistance for any medical purposes. This year, our employees have stepped forward to donate funds to Trust@CARS24,” says Kunal Mundra, CEO, Cars India, CARS24 detailing the efforts the brand’s staff are making to reach out to each other. “Our employees have come together and created a special team to provide drivers and logistics support in 25 cities for their colleagues, who need to procure essentials and oxygen cylinders, etc.,” he adds.
Omnichannel platform Fynd too has placed employee welfare at the top of its priority list, adding that it is an important element of its culture. Farooq Adam, co-founder of Fynd explains how the company is taking steps to ensure physical, mental and emotional well-being of its staff during the deadly second wave. He says, “We are utilising all our resources to ensure our people and their families have access to treatment in case of COVID. We went ahead and doubled our medical insurance coverage and have assured interest-free loans for those who need further help in covering medical treatments. We have also implemented 4X CTC as term insurance to ensure families are financially safe in case of a sudden loss.”
HOW ARE BRANDS HELPING THEIR STAFF?
Godrej Consumer Products Limited
- COVID-19 medical insurance and life insurance for extended workforce including salesmen on distributor rolls, CFAs, drivers and computer operators
- Covering home quarantine expenses
- Tele consultation via Apollo
- Vaccination for employees and families
- Support helpdesk to collate and track requests from employees and families
- Partnership with InnerHour, a mental health platform
- Created a COVID War Room to help employees source hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, medicines and plasma
- Free COVID-19 vaccination for employees and families
- Providing financial security and support to the bereaved family in case of employee demise
- Offering home care in COVID positive cases through the company’s insurance policy upto Rs 25,000 per family
- Reimbursement for RT-PCR test, pulse-oximeter, thermal scanner, oxygen charges, FDA certified medicines, masks, gloves, etc.
- Covid-19 vaccination for employees
Tata Consumer Products
- Leveraging third party tie-ups for RT-PCR testing
- Empanelled doctors for consultation
- Assisting employees with COVID related emergencies through designated SPOCs
- Home delivery of medicines
- Insurance coverage for COVID treatments, testing and vaccinations for employees and dependents
- Vaccination tracker to ensure vaccination for all employees
- Medical coverage for all employees
- Set up a 700 bed facility in Gurgaon Civil lines for COVID-related emergencies
- Care support helpline called ‘Anchor Advisors’, where even company MD Mathew Chandy assists
- Converted factories into vaccination centres for employees above the age of 45
- Tele-consultation for employees and their families
- Insurance cover for COVID treatment for employees and distributor network
- Announced budge of Rs 1 crore for COVID relief for employees and dealers
- Offering 5x insurance cover to employees and family members
- Emergency ward with basic medical facilities for employees
- Isolation wards for automobile dealers
- Created COVID SWAT team to attend to urgent requirements such as hospital beds, oxygen, etc.
- Started Trust@CARS24 to provide financial assistance to employees for medical purposes
- Compensating testing costs for of COVID-19 for all employees and their families
- Covering vaccination cost for employees and two family members
- Total hospitalisation cover of Rs 8 Lakh for employees, parents, spouse and kids
- In case of employee demise, 4X CTC to family
- Medical loans with 0% interest to help with additional hospitalisation costs
- Assistance with medication and finding hospital beds
- Additional COVID leave
- Reimbursement for vaccination for self and family members
- Assistance with oxygen requests and vaccination for employees
- Covering all medical expenses arising due to COVID-19
- Created a makeshift isolation centre for employees to recover
Tata AIA Life Insurance
- Facilitation for vaccination for employees and dependants
- Up to Rs 50,000 advance salary to assist on ancillary expenses
- Practo partnership for online COVID related consultation
- Care @Home packages(Available PAN INDIA)
- Tie up with Ginger Hotels, managed by Apollo Hospitals and other isolation facilities in 45 locations
- Oxygen concentrators available at 8 select locations
- Special Covid Kavach protection policy for managers and below
- Arranging on-premise vaccination for employees and their dependents
- All-India Command Centre: to address medical emergencies related to hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen, medicine, plasma, etc.
- Project GoodFood to provide home-cooked meals to employees and dependents affected by COVID-19
- Partnered with various hotels to provide quarantine centres for 14 days
- In the unfortunate case of employee demise due to Covid-19, ex-gratia financial assistance for their nominee / next of kin
- COVID-19 vaccination drive for employees and their families
- Tied up with five-star hotels in Mumbai and ‘Temporary Safe Workplace Bubbles’ for employees who have come to Mumbai and are living in temporary accommodations
- Rolled out salary hikes during this appraisal cycle to show appreciation for employees’ hard work during tough times
- Dedicated COVID Helpline monitored by the upGrad leadership
- Medical insurance for all employees
- Created a COVID-19 support and resource handbook for its employees
- Launched new virtual features like consultation with pulmonologists and specialists and medicine delivery and general physician consultations
- Coverage for RT-PCR tests, COVID insurance and additional leave for COVID
- Access to COVID screening plan, doorstep medicine delivery and hotel isolation service at a nominal cost
- Set up COVID Care centres and war rooms
- Additional support to families of employees who lose their lives to the disease
- Vaccination drive for employees above the age of 45 years
- Round -the-clock task force to help employees and families get the help they need
- Augmentation of sick leave and healthcare coverage to cover any COVID treatment received at home through the company’s health insurance provider
- Coverage of all vaccination costs for staff and their dependents
- Support with hotels and accommodation for those who need to quarantine
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Facebook introduces Covid-19 announcements to share credible Covid-19 and vaccine info
This is a part of Facebook's ongoing efforts to support the public health authorities' work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis in India
By exchange4media Staff | May 20, 2021 12:46 PM | 2 min read
Facebook is expanding COVID-19 Announcement in India, which is a tool for the health departments of States and Union Territories to share essential COVID-19 related updates with their communities. This is part of their ongoing efforts to support the public health authorities' work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis. India is the second country after the US to launch this feature and Facebook has partnered with 33 states and Union Territories to roll this out in their respective jurisdictions. The COVID-19 Announcement feature will give health departments the ability to push out timely, credible COVID-19 and vaccine information to people in their local communities/ state jurisdictions. States will be able to issue these alerts statewide or to specific cities within their state.
When posts by state health department pages on Facebook are marked as COVID-19 Announcements, their reach is amplified so that people located in the community are more likely to see them. Facebook will send notifications to people located in the affected area, and will also show that information on the COVID-19 Information Center. This will help distribute important and urgent updates related to COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccination efforts to people in the community.
COVID-19 Announcements on facebook can be used to communicate:
- Information on existing COVID-19 resources, such as helplines
- Updates on hospital bed availability in districts, such as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and oxygen supported beds
- Changes to existing COVID-19 rules and regulation that can impact communities and day-to-day actions, such as lockdowns, night curfews and changes to treatment protocols
- Information about vaccine eligibility and registration, and the logistics of acquiring a vaccine
- Accurate information on COVID-19 appropriate behavior
- Preventive behavioral health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19
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