Goldman Sachs is offering Covid-19 vaccinations to thousands of its staff in India and rolling out fresh relief efforts in the country as infections and deaths from the virus have soared.
The US investment bank will offer free vaccines to its employees in India, where it has three offices and employs around 7,000 people at its biggest site in Bengaluru, as well as committing an additional $10m to support health facilities in the country.
Covid-19 infections in India have surged over the past month, with an average daily total over the past week of around 340,000 cases. Its healthcare system has been overwhelmed as deaths have surpassed 200,000, with the number of fatalities expected to be greater as many are not officially reported.
Oxygen supplies in India are critically low, and countries including the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Russia and France have all pledged to send emergency medical aid.
Goldman’s $10m will be used for frontline healthcare facilities in India in large cities including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. It will also aim to help economic recovery in those communities, it said in a statement.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, our firm has been focused on how we can help communities around the world, including those where we live and work,” said David Solomon, chairman and chief executive officer. “India is home to three Goldman Sachs offices and we have a responsibility to respond and provide our firm’s support and assistance.”
Goldman’s employees in India will be offered access to vaccinations free of charge, it said in a statement on LinkedIn, either onsite at its offices or at external health centres. They will remain voluntary and it will offer time off for vaccinations as well as boosting its health insurance to cover any Covid-19 related treatments.
India has become an increasingly important location for Goldman Sachs in recent years as the firm looks to cut costs by basing more non-revenue generating roles in “high value” locations. It has technology, finance and human resources roles in the country, as well as back office support for trading and its consumer banking business, Marcus. It closed its offices in the country to all but critical staff in March as infections started to increase, Reuters reported.
The bank already offers half a day’s leave for its 41,000 staff globally to get the Covid-19 jab, Financial News reported in March.
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