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Billionaire investor Vinod Khosla, Delhivery offer help with oxygen as India fights Covid

Khosla Sunday tweeted that he is willing to fund hospitals in India that need the help to import planeloads of oxygen or medical supplies.

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New Delhi: With many hospitals in the country running low on oxygen supply and grappling with a shortage of oxygen cylinders and concentrators, a number of entrepreneurs have stepped forward to help.

Among them is the billionaire Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla, an alumnus of IIT Delhi and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who has reached out to the Modi government through social media.

“I’m willing to fund hospitals in India that need funding to import bulk planeloads of oxygen or supplies into India to increase supply. Public hospitals/NGOs also pls reach out @PMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA @timesofindia @INCIndia #IndiaFightsCOVID19 @htTweets @IndianExpress @GiveIndia,” Khosla tweeted Sunday.

His outreach was lauded by his alma mater.

“#IITDelhi alumnus and the founder of Khosla Ventures @vkhosla has expressed willingness to fund hospitals in the country that need funding to import bulk planeloads of oxygen,” the official Twitter account of IIT Delhi tweeted Sunday.

IIT Delhi Director V. Ramgopal Rao also appreciated the offer. “@vkhosla is a distinguished alumnus of @iitdelhi and has funded the Amar Nath and Shashi Khosla School of Information Technology at IIT Delhi besides helping the institute in many other ways. A man of action,” Rao tweeted.

ThePrint has reached Khosla through a message on Twitter for a comment. This report will be updated when a response is received.

Delhivery promises to fly charters with oxygen concentrators

Delhivery, a supply chain unicorn, has announced that it will fly charters into India with oxygen concentrators.

“We’re flying charters into India with oxygen concentrators and other essential supplies and can build more capacity on demand. If you need help with logistics or wish to collaborate with us on this please reach out to Vikas Kapoor or to me immediately (ceo@delhivery.com),” Sahil Barua, a co-founder of the company, said in a LinkedIn post.

Kartik S, a company executive, tweeted that the company is chartering two planes from China most likely on Wednesday and Friday to help import oxygen concentrators.

“We are doing this at minimal margins for compressors and other essentials, and have spare capacity as things stand,” he tweeted.

“If interested, please contact us at ceo@delhivery.com In case demand far exceeds the current supply, we can arrange for additional flights as well,” he added.

On Saturday the government decided to waive basic customs duty and health cess on the import of oxygen and connected equipment for a period of three months with immediate effect to ensure greater oxygen availability as the country battles the second Covid-19 wave.

ThePrint has sent messages to Karthik on Twitter and Barua on LinkedIn asking for a comment on their plan. This report will be updated when they respond.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: The oxygen story exposes how India breathed too easy between the two Covid waves




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