Silicon Valley billionaire investor Vinod Khosla offers to fund Indian hospitals for bulk oxygen import

By: |
April 25, 2021 2:59 PM

Technology billionaire and co-founder of Sun Microsystems Vinod Khosla also asked public hospitals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to reach out to him for capital support.

Khosla also urged US President Joe Biden to release the AstraZeneca vaccines to India. (Mario Anzuoni / REUTERS)

Vinod Khosla, longtime Silicon Valley-based Indian American technology entrepreneur and founder of the eponymous venture capital firm Khosla Ventures, on Sunday offered funding support to hospitals in India for importing oxygen and other supplies amid the current Covid crisis. Khosla also asked public hospitals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to reach out to him for capital. “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/NGO’s also pls reach out,” Khosla said on microblogging platform Twitter.

Acknowledging the support, India’s largest hospital chain Apollo Hospitals’ joint managing director Sangita Reddy in her response tweeted “Vinod, how generous and timely. We are running two medical college hospitals mostly free and have free wards in most of our hospitals. Will reach out. Speed is of the essence.” Khosla tagged Health Ministry, Prime Minister’s office, The Indian Express, donation platform Give India, and others in his tweet.

In reply to one of the tweets requesting the US government for AstraZeneca supplies, Khosla urged US President Joe Biden to release the AstraZeneca vaccines to India. “The AZ vaccine is unlikely to be ever approved in the US given current alternatives here. @Potus should absolutely release all doses and future commitments for US supply since Moderna and @pfizer can supply US needs.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at her daily news conference on Friday had said that the government is “working closely with Indian officials at both political and experts’ level to identify ways to help address the crisis,” PTI reported. Psaki had added, that “India is one of our Quad partners, of course, in discussing vaccine creation and distribution for the future.”

Among India Inc, Tata Group had announced support for catering to lack of oxygen supplies. The group had said that it would import 24 cryogenic containers to transport liquid oxygen. Reliance Industries, as per a PTI report, had tweaked manufacturing at its Jamnagar oil refineries to produce over 700 tonnes a day of medical-grade oxygen which is being offered free of cost to Covid-hit states. Jindal Steel and Power had also committed 500 metric tonnes of oxygen supply.

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