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Skoda, VW line up 1 million euro aid to fight COVID-19 in India

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New Delhi, May 12 (PTI) Czech carmaker Skoda on Wednesday said it along with the Volkswagen Group (VW) has lined up one million euros (around Rs 9 crore) aid to support the fight against COVID-19 in India.

Due to the serious humanitarian situation in India caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Skoda Auto is planning an aid package in cooperation with the Volkswagen Group consisting of in-kind and financial donations totaling one million euros, the automaker said in a statement.

'We are in contact with our colleagues in India every day. They know best what is most urgently needed at the moment. We are working hard to secure the appropriate relief supplies, including oxygen tanks, and transport them to India as quickly as possible,' Skoda Auto Chief Executive Officer Thomas Schafer said.

Skoda Auto leads the Volkswagen Group's activities in the Indian market.

The second wave of coronavirus has India firmly in its grip.

The sudden spike in infections is affecting a shortage of hospital beds, medical oxygen, and antiviral medication straining the overall healthcare system.

As a local employer in Pune, Aurangabad, and Mumbai, Skoda has a responsibility in the country and the car manufacturer is therefore donating around one million euros at short notice to help improve the situation, the automaker noted.

The support will consist of medical supplies and a monetary donation to the German Red Cross, it said.

This is intended to meet as many different aid needs as possible in the badly affected regions, it added.

Among other things, the carmaker said it is procuring medical equipment and materials such as oxygen generators and liquid oxygen tanks, which are necessary for inland transport.

The brand's purchasing and logistics departments are working tirelessly to acquire the relief supplies at short notice and deliver them to the crisis region as quickly as possible, despite the difficult conditions caused by the pandemic, it added.

The Indian Red Cross is expected to handle the distribution locally, it said.

'The country is going through an unprecedented situation with the unexpected rise in COVID-19 cases, leading to extreme stress on the healthcare facilities in India. Skoda Auto's generous donation, both material and financial support will provide some relief to those affected,' Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Managing Director Gurpratap Boparai said. PTI MSS SHW SHW