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Coronavirus Updates: 31st March 2020 – Institutions, Startups, Businesses and Government working together to combat the deadly virus

Coronavirus has attracted everyone’s attention. As of today, many top firms and institutions are working alongside to provide aids to the citizens of India.


  1. IIT Guwahati working on developing the COVID-19 drug
  2. IIT Hyderabad plans on adopting alternatives to the ventilators
  3. Tech Solutions to Combat Covid-19
  4. A considerable amount of Donations by Reliance
  5. Cooperative Solutions by Zomato, Swiggy, BigBasket, and Grofers

IIT Guwahati working on developing the COVID-19 drug


IIT Guwahati, on Monday, said it is working on developing a prescription for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and is planning to set up a dedicated center for research on the deadly virus. The premier institute also said it had developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, which can analyze 1,000 samples in 12 hours, and two such units have already been supplied to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). The overall idea is to develop a safe, efficient, and affordable drug for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and other dreadful viral infections, it added.

This prestigious institute is in the process of setting up an advanced research center for COVID-19 analysis, which will help the northeast region to test for the novel coronavirus and detection of another such deadly virus. Also, the departments of mechanical engineering and electronics and electrical engineering are making efforts to develop robot-based drug and food carrying units to work in isolation wards, robotic screening units, among others.

IIT Hyderabad plans on adopting alternatives to the ventilators

The Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad on Monday, suggested the Centre to consider taking ‘bag valve mask’ as an alternative to meet any surge in demand for ventilators, both in India and abroad, to treat COVID-19 patients. This suggestion was made by the institute director Professor BS Murty (1). They said the devices are used to deliver breathing support in emergencies. Besides, the equipment is inexpensive, easy to produce, and portable and has every quality that is required in this crisis, a press release from the institute said. The two experts proposed that the Central GovernmentGovernment, through the Department of Science and Technology/Defence Research and Development Organisation or some other nodal organization, constitute a task force that would carry out the tasks needed to start the production of these low-cost ventilators, within a maximum time-frame of two months. The production rate after that would need to be of several lakh units per week, so the preparation has to be done at a war-footing, under the direct scrutiny of the highest levels of GovernmentGovernment, they said in the release.

Tech Solutions to Combat Covid-19

To bring the coronavirus pandemic under control, the Indian Government has been looking for solutions, examples, and suggestions from the private sector and startups. Now, the human resources development (HRD) ministry has turned to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to look for tech-enabled solutions to help deal with the outbreak that has already crossed 1,200 cases in India.

Amit Khare, secretary of the HRD ministry, held a video conference with directors of IITs on March 30 to discuss the matter. Khare reportedly asked the IITs to come up with a clear short-term and medium-term tech-enabled comprehensive plans within two days to combat coronavirus and all such medical emergencies in the future.

Khare told ET that some of the IITs have already submitted the prototypes of masks and face shields that can be used for protection. Besides this, IIT Kanpur has developed a prototype of a low-cost ventilator, priced at INR 70K. IIT Hyderabad has proposed an alternative ventilator, which can be used to resuscitate people. IIT Bombay has designed an app to track patients and positive cases while IIT Delhi is looking to develop more protective apparel for medical personnel.

A considerable amount of Donations by Reliance

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has pledged Rs 500 crore to the PM CARES Fund to battle the coronavirus crisis in India. The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund were formed on March 28 to combat the pandemic at the ground level. It has already seen contributions from top business leaders, including Gautam Adani, Uday Kotak, and celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, and others.

The 100-bed facility is fully funded by the Reliance Foundation and is equipped with the required infrastructure, bio-medical equipment such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machines, and other patient-monitoring devices. Reliance has also pledged 50 lakh free meals in the next ten days across India, and one lakh masks daily for health-workers and caregivers at the frontline of the COVID-19 battle. For the benefit of individual customers, Reliance had earlier doubled its data offerings through the telecom network Jio. It has also rolled out’ work from home’, ‘study from home,’ and ‘health from home’ initiatives for Jio users.

Cooperative Solutions by Zomato, Swiggy, BigBasket, and Grofers


As India entered the sixth day of the 21-day lockdown period, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 crossed the 1300 mark. The next two weeks in a row will be very crucial as India enters Stage 3 of the transmission of the novel coronavirus. The only way to break the chain of infections is to stay at home and practice social distancing. And Indian startups are coming up with ways to enforce this by bringing essential services to homes.

Further, to ensure the timely delivery of essential products across the country, the Retailers Association of India (RAI), along with its partners, has implemented the ‘Food Soldier’ project to overcome the shortage of people in the supply chain. RAI has created WhatsApp groups to connect retailers, ecommerce firms, manufacturers, and local administration. Using these groups, they can request each other to help them in their operations. With increased numbers of grocery orders, online grocery platforms such as BigBasket and Grofers are facing a workforce crunch. Here, food delivery giants Swiggy and Zomato are helping out by providing their delivery-partners to ensure the adequate supply of grocery orders.

With grocery deliveries coming back on track, one of India’s largest dairy companies, Mother Dairy, is now also looking to tap the infrastructure of platforms like BigBasket, Milkbasket, and Supr Daily to maintain an uninterrupted supply of milk.