#StartupsVsCovid19: Ola, Uber Launch Medical Emergency Services On Lockdown Day 14

#StartupsVsCovid19: Ola, Uber Launch Medical Emergency Services On Lockdown Day 14


Paytm has partnered with the KVN Foundation to serve meals to migrant workers

Google Maps now shows the locations of shelters for stranded citizens in 30 Indian cities

Zoom offers free access to remote conferencing tools for Indian schools, colleges

India has now completed two weeks of the 21-day countrywide lockdown. In terms of statistics, the number of cases has risen beyond 5000 positive cases in the span of these two weeks. But in terms of action, we have much more on-ground activity that has seen participation from various stakeholders for donations, tie-ups for essential services and innovations.

A new National Covid-19 Action Group has been set up by a group of parliamentarians, organisations and experts under the name Parliamentarians with Innovators for India (PI India). The core idea of the group is to revive public spirit, mobilise capable teams across India who can work towards building concrete and scalable solutions towards the challenges in public health, economy, livelihoods, and other important areas.

At the same time, the impact of lockdown has trickled down on India’s job market. According to the online job listing platform Naukri, hiring activities have registered a year-on-year decline of 18% in March 2020. The Naukri JobSpeak Index also noted that the hiring activities have been halted across all the cities in the country. For instance, the job market in Delhi declined by 26% followed by Chennai and Hyderabad at 24% and 18% respectively.

But that hasn’t hampered the spirit of the ecosystem to come together to solve for the crisis and ensure the availability of essentials. For instance, the government of Karnataka has tied up with ride-hailing apps Uber and Ola to provide 24×7 ‘Medical Emergency Services’ for patients that have been advised non-ambulatory prolonged treatment. The aim of this service is to ensure that other medical emergency services do not get ignored, given the massive concentration on COVID-19.

Further, the challenge for the country beyond the physical impact of coronavirus has also trickled down on mental health. Leading mental health experts emphasised on the need of undertaking a mass level public education drive on mental wellbeing in this ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unusual’ situation to help people stay positive and prevent them from resorting to self-harm, domestic violence or substance abuse solutions to anxiety or depression.

Providing Add-On Services For Self-Isolation

US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) is partnering with Zoom Video Communications to provide free access to video technologies for K-12 education institutions in India. USISPF and Zoom will work with the Government of India, state governments, and non-profit organizations in education to ensure that the maximum number of school-going children are able to access Zoom’s technologies free of cost and continue their education virtually at an extremely challenging time.

Further, edtech startup Testbook has launched an all-in-one “Testbook Pass” to support millions of students studying from home during the lockdown to prepare for more than 100 government job exams sitting at home. Testbook Pass provides complete access to 100+ online courses, mock tests, video lessons and study notes.

Fashion ecommerce platform Myntra has partnered with Wildcraft to offer personal protective face masks on its platform.  The company aims at providing essential protective masks to customers during the lockdown. One of the few of its kind, the re-usable outdoor mask offers a 3 layer particle filtration system to shield against particulate matter and microbes.

Insurtech startup Acko General Insurance has announced a one-month relief on premium payments for customers, and has announced a 1-month insurance extension to car and bike owners. Customers who renew policies or first-time buyers of Acko’s auto insurance policy will need to pay only for 12 months and will get a month’s extension, at no extra cost.

Getting The Essentials Right

Logistics tech startup Lalamove has supported the movement of masks by arranging the vehicles from Bengaluru to Mangalore for dispatching the raw material for making masks. The company is receiving thousands of delivery orders on a daily basis from cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad. The deliveries are conducted on Lalamove’s 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler vehicles.

Further, Boonbox has launched Mission Lifeline Bharat to ensure regular supply of all essential services across rural India, starting with Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Orissa. Through this initiative, Boonbox will collaborate with State and Central Governments, Development Financial Institutions, Corporate Foundations and Trusts to ensure that there is a continuous supply of essential services across these regions. It will ensure a continuous supply of medicines, FMCG goods, sanitation products and basic groceries.

Digital payments giant Paytm has partnered with the KVN Foundation to serve meals to migrant workers and daily wage earners. Together, they are already serving 75,000 meals per day across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Noida. KVN Foundation launched the ‘Feed My City’ initiative in Bengaluru and has served 3 lakh meals in 11 days across the nation. They aim to serve 30 lakh meals over the next few weeks.

Further, in a bid to help people stranded away from home due to the nationwide lockdown, tech major Google has now started to list locations of shelters where such individuals can get food and can spend the night on Google Maps. The service, launched in partnership with central and state government authorities, will help migrant workers and other such workers who have been left stranded outside their home cities.

Social media giant Snap has introduced new augmented reality-based donation lenses in India for Snapchat users who want to show their support to the Covid-19 response efforts. When a user views an INR 500 currency note in the Snapchat camera and taps on it, an AR experience will show the potential donation options for immediate response teams, patients and frontline workers.

These lenses are being launched in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the WHO, and will direct Snapchat users to the donation page for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.

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