Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced the company's new financial commitment of over $800 million to support SMBs, health organisations and governments, and health workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pichai, in his blog, also mentioned the tech giant's contribution of $250 million in additional advertisement grants to the World Health Organisation and more than 100 government agencies worldwide to combat the virus.
About $20 million will be provided in ad grants to community financial institutions and NGOs, while $340 million in Google Ads credits will be available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. A $200 million investment fund has been announced with the aim to support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital.
The tech giant is also providing $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers working to study the pandemic. Besides the grants, Google is also working with Magid Glove & Safety to ramp up the production of 2-3 million face masks in the coming weeks.
The pandemic has sent major global economies into limbo with many industries staring at huge revenue losses due to the virus outbreak. Countries such as the US, China, Italy, France, South Korea, among other developed nations have been badly hit by COVID-19. The infected cases and the death toll in these countries is maximum as compared to others despite having one of the world’s best health care systems.
The US has become the new epicentre of the deadly COVID-19 infection, surpassing Italy with over 120,000 positive cases and total deaths in the country surging over 2000. US President Donald Trump has blamed China for their alleged negligence and concealment of the facts on the issue that has supposedly led to the escalation of the disease into a global pandemic.
The deadly coronavirus outbreak that originated in China last year has spread across 197 countries across the world. Presently, there are nearly 660,000 confirmed global cases of the COVID-19 infection which has led to the death of over 30,600 people.
As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its spread. So far, China, Italy, Iran, Spain and the US have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
(Image source - AP)