Amazon on Monday said it will cover the COVID-19 vaccination cost for all its India employees and associates as well as those in partner network ecosystem. This would include delivery service partner associates, including Amazon Flex drivers, 'I Have Space' store partners, trucking partners and their eligible dependents, a statement said.
The benefit also will be available to all sellers on Amazon.in with an active listing since last year, it added.
"As COVID-19 vaccines become available to individuals above 45 years of age in India, Amazon India is encouraging its employees, associates, sellers on Amazon.in and partners to get vaccinated at the earliest appropriate time to protect themselves, their families, and their communities," it said.
The company has also set up comprehensive support mechanisms for employees and associates working with Amazon and hired through staffing agencies, it added.
Amazon India supports cost coverage for COVID-19 treatment, hospital search and coverage of prescribed COVID-19 tests. Initiatives have been scaled and evolved to address the prevailing situation.
"These new benefits are on top of the USD 2.5 billion Amazon has invested in special bonuses and incentives for teams globally over the last year, and the USD 11.5 billion the company has invested in COVID-19-related measures overall," the statement said.
This investment has enabled the company to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and extensive safety measures for employees and partners throughout the global network along with other financial support initiatives, it said.
The Amazon Relief Fund (ARF) was launched in India in April 2020 with a USD 25 million relief fund for partners and continues to provide support to all eligible individuals. ARF can be utilised by qualifying individuals who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19.
Several companies, including Flipkart, Infosys, Cure.fit, Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, Mobile Premier League, Reliance Industries, TVS Motor Company, ReNew Power, Mindtree and Sify Technologies, have committed to covering vaccine costs for their employees and their family members.
People above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with co-morbidities are being immunised in the second phase of the nationwide vaccination that started on March 1. Under the third phase, which started on April 1, everyone over 45 years can get vaccinated.
HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, has also announced that it will cover the total cost of vaccination against COVID-19 for its eligible employees and their dependents in India. The move is expected to benefit as many as 8,400 employees in the country and their dependents who are enrolled in the company's medical benefits programme.
Home services marketplace Urban Company had also said it will cover COVID-19 vaccination costs for over 30,000 of its service partners on the platform.
India hit a new coronavirus infection record with 1,68,912 new cases, the highest single-day rise so far, taking the total tally of cases to 1,35,27,717, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.
The active cases have surpassed the 12-lakh mark, while the death toll increased to 1,70,179 with 904 daily new fatalities, the highest since October 18, 2020, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Registering a steady increase for the 33rd day in row, the active cases have increased to 12,01,009 comprising 8.88 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 89.86 per cent.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stands at 10,43,65,035 according to the 8 pm provisional report on April 11.