Tech Mahindra launches MHealthy to fight against COVID. It is a solution to enable community safety and the workforce against COVID-19. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for data-driven diagnostics.
The company rolls out phase-wise screening across all of its India’s offices. It also plans to roll this all employees, customers, etc. MHealthy helps the company screen employees at regular times.
Also, this will help the company with data related to immunity status, comorbid conditions, etc.
This solution by Tech Mahindra not only does a risk assessment but also screens multiple factors that contribute to the risk. The key attributes of this solution are 96% accurate antibody test on a single platform.
This solution will connect the health providers with the employees of the company to track and monitor the health of the employee at regular intervals. This will also enable real-time dashboard with all the info
Also, audio/video consultation is also provided through this platform. The company wants to reduce the time and action in this way
The Tech giants started petitioning the US administration, especially Trump that H1B visas are integral for COVID recovery. Companies like Amazon, Google, Accenture, Facebook, IBM are some of the companies to start the petition.
These companies are asking to continue to allow them to hire these highly skilled people. They believe that they are an integral part of the COVID-19 recovery plan for the USA
Advocacy firm ITI, present in Washington said that these big companies are concerned about the news of the suspension of H1B visas. These non-immigrant work visas are in need in these dire times.
The CEO of ITI said that these firms are anxious to get their employees back and the labor market has already started working. He also re-iterated that foreign-born workers are crucial to recovery.
The CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue also pointed out to the US government that as the economy bounces back, the American firms need support to meet the needs of their workforce.
US-India business council that has members belonging to HCL, Citi India, Bharat Forge also agreed with Mr.Donohue on this. Mr.Oxman, the CEO of ITI said that the unemployment rate in the software side has decreased from 3% in January 2020, to 2.8% in April 2020
Who benefits from the H1B visas
Indians are the ones who are benefitting the most with the H1B visas. Recently Wall Street Journal published an article that Trump administration will suspend all the new H1B visas. The reasons for this are to control the coronavirus and increase the employment of US-based citizens.
Mr.Donohue says that if companies cannot hire H1B employees, productivity growth will deter. This is especially in the patent production sector. Ultimately this is a great cause for the economic slowdown
He further adds that these short-term restrictions of H1B and L1 visas will have a long term impact on the business plans of the company. Along with H1B visas, these restrictions might apply to H2B visas and J-1 visas which are for short-term seasonal workers and short-term camp counselors respectively.
What does White House think about this?
A White House spokesperson said that the administration is actively evaluating various options, especially to protect American workers. Although no decision is made.
With the widespread of COVID-19, most of the Indians are worried about their jobs. Especially people working in the Gulf countries had to leave their jobs and businesses. Although, the state and central governments have assured that there will be enough opportunities created for them, in reality very little has been done to help them.
Several employees who had to return from the Gulf are earning little to none currently in the country and are planning to go back to the Middle East once the situation improves. This can help them earn some good money and help their families here.
Under SWADES scheme the people returning from various countries will be provided with job opportunities: Governemnt
It is said that around 13,365 people had to return from the Gulf due to the alarming situation of COVID. Out of these 1000 people have returned to their respective homes in the UttarPradesh. The government had said that they will be provided with opportunities in their own states.
Mr. Raj Kumar Chahar, MP of Fatehpur Sikri has announced that the Union Skill Development Ministry will provide jobs to these people under the SWADES(Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) scheme in the sectors of oil, aviation, construction, etc.
Most of these people had returned to the country with the help of VandeBharat Mission with flights being arranged from UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman. In these middle east countries, the people are working in oil, gas, construction, IT-ITES fields. A report says that there are 4964 such people who had to return to India in Kerala itself, 2518 in TamilNadu, 1868 in Karnataka, 1083 in Maharashtra, 560 in Bihar, 542 in Rajasthan, 407 in Andhra Pradesh and 423 in Telangana. These people had returned home through the VandeBharat mission.
Currently, the Central Government is in the process of creating a database of all the arrivals and mapping them via the SWADES scheme to the respective fields. As of now, the candidates can apply for registrations via the website of the project.
Infosys has recently said that the business has been marginally impacted on profits due to the impact of coronavirus. It was also stated that the cash flows negatively for them, currently. According to the latest reports, the CEO drew a package of $6.15 million for the FY20. This has been mentioned in the regulatory filing by the Infosys
Infosys also said that the profits which are marginally impacted are due to most of their clients are asking for price reductions and discounts. In a 20-F submission to the US securities, Infosys has said that their cash flows are negatively impacted by the prolonged payment term requests from clients and low profitability. This may impact the payment of dividends to their stakeholders.
The company has also said that some of its clients have invoked the ‘Force Majeure’ clause in their contracts which is negatively impacting their business.
Not just Infosys, the corona outbreak has negatively impacted the global economy and all the businesses. Most of the companies, including Infosys has decided not to provide a revenue outlook for FY21 due to the impact of coronavirus
Pre-COVID, Infosys has said that there has been an increase in the number of rejections for visa and visa renewal from the United States and some other countries. Due to this, the company has to face the delay or bear the additional cost due to the uncertainty of whether the employee will join at the right time in the right project. The company also highlights that similar situation happened in Australia and the UK as well where the government will focus on “net migration”
Due to this crisis, the companies are preferring to employ local individuals and this could lead to an increase in the restrictions by the governments. The company also says that these extended restrictions will impact the overall cost and expenses for client delivery due to the additional costs in renewing the visas
Due to the widespread of coronavirus, the government has imposed lockdown across the country. During this lockdown, the IT companies are continuing operations by allowing their employees to work from home. Almost 95% of employees in every company are working from home. In these times, the chairman of Mahindra Group has stressed the advantages of a dedicated workplace(like an office).
He said on Twitter that after the lockdown ends, most of the companies are planning to continue their employees to work from home but traditional workplaces will always remain the main form of work in the IT sector. He also added that most companies who are planning to ask their employees to work from home post COVID are concentrated on cutting the costs and increasing the revenue.
He further explained that the workplace will bring freedom from all the domestic hassles, especially for women. For them, being away from all the disturbances, it can help them innovate. He also said that social distancing and sanitation is more feasible in organized workplaces in developed countries.
He also feels that both in developed and developing countries, workplaces allow significant, informal interactions which are the source of innovation. He finally concluded by saying instead of taking a decision in a hurry and continuing work from operations, post-COVID, the companies should think carefully and ask the employees to work from the offices.
Over 9000 employees of Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) has withdrawn more than Rs. 43 crores from the EPF. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to some company wise data, TCS ranks second in the number of withdraws done by people working in a company.
The EPFO also released a list of top 10 exempted establishments who withdrew their EPF money. According to the list, 7000 HCL employees withdrew around Rs.27 crore from their EPF accounts. At the top of the list, there is NLC, whose employees withdrew a total Rs. 84.4 crore. After NLC, it is TCS which withdrew the most with 43.3 crores. The other companies present in the list are Vishakapatnam Steel Plant (40.1 crores), NTPC (28.7 crores), Power Grid Corporation of India (26.1 crores), ONGC (24.2 crores).
In a statement, EPFO has said that it had processed around 1.37 lakh claims across the whole country. The amount distributed through these claims is around Rs.279.6 crores. This is accessed under a new provision to help the subscribers overcome the crisis situation.
According to this new rule, EPF subscribers can make a non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of basic salary and dearness allowances for a period of 3 months or up to 75% of the amount standing in the EPF account credit. People can choose between these two options.
The claims for taking an advance on the EPF account are being filed online, with the account to be KYC compliant. EPFO has said in a statement that they have relaxed the Data of Birth correction criteria to make the KYC easy to complete. Now EPFO will accept the date of birth of a person as per the data in the Aadhaar Card.
Due to the widespread of COVID-19, many of us are working from home and making a habit out of it. Working from home comes with some downsides such as maintaining the focus, prioritizing other works at home, etc. These are some of the compromises we need to make to make the most out of work from home. But the most important thing while working from home is security. It should not be compromised.
During this period, many cybercriminals are taking advantage of the current situation and are attempting to exploit the company’s data. The most common type is that attackers are sending phishing emails in the name of COVID-19. These are created to attract individuals to click on the malicious links that download RATs(Remote Administration Tools) onto the system.
The other type is corrupt android applications related to COVID19. When these are installed on the device, the data in the smartphone will be lost or will be accessed by the attackers and they can sell that data to other sources or can blackmail the individuals. With the rise in the spread of COVID19, there is also a huge rise in the fake websites related to that. Although not every new website is corrupt, surely some of them are and it is difficult to distinguish.
Hackers are taking advantage of the situation that there will be fewer employees at the offices to maintain the security of the servers which has the company’s crucial data. Also, while working from home the security will be less due to the use of personal networks at home. Its the responsibility of both the company and individual to protect the company’s data.
Here is how businesses can tackle this situation:
Have a clear understanding of the threats faced by the company The organization leaders should have a clear idea about the attacks made on the organization and work with the security teams to design protocols that handle the situation.
Ensure clear communication and provide guidance Apt policies should be designed, which are clear and easy to understand. This makes the employee easy to follow while working from home. Also, the employees should be encouraged to report even a small suspicious activity to the security teams of the organization.
Also, along with these, some other things to follow are:
Provide VPN service across the company with endpoint protection
Create a secure connection from any network while accessing the company’s cloud data/server data
Install multi-step authentication
Create automated intelligence to handle the attacks in real-time.
Filter out the phishing emails and malicious websites.
Individuals also have the responsibility to maintain the security of the organization. Here are some of the steps the employees should follow
Create a strong and complex password.
Update the system regularly and install all the security patches made by the company.
Secure the wifi access point at home
Always use VPN to connect to connect
Understand the scams related to COVID19. These can be of many types ranging from phishing emails to corrupt websites.
Have a dedicated set of devices while working. It’s not a good practice to use your personal device for work.
With the spread of coronavirus, almost all the companies are laying off their employees due to the huge demand which they couldn’t handle. But there are some companies which are in need of candidates who can work for them in this period. For some people working these jobs might be a career switch but for some its normal.
Here are some of the companies which are having a hiring spree.(Note: These jobs are of US-based companies)
Domino’s: Domino’s is planning to hire 10,000 members to fill the positions ranging from pizza makers to delivery guys. Domino’s also looking to hire highly experienced Class A CDL drivers to make sure it’s supply chain doesn’t stop. Apply here: https://jobs.dominos.com/
GE Healthcare: The company is looking to fill the positions of ventilators and office workers to expand its manufacturing capacity at the offices.
Amazon: Amazon is hiring around 1,00,000 workers to handle the high demand it needed to maintain its warehouses. Also, for the existing employees, it has increased the pay by 2$ per hour to help them overcome this tough situation.
Papa John’s: To serve people who are craving pizza in these tough times, Papa john’s want to hire staff to help with deliveries and carry out orders. Around 20,000 jobs of this kind are open with Papa John’s
Pepsi: Pepsi is looking to add 6000 staff to its current count of employees in full-benefit positions. Although no more details were told about these jobs, candidates can apply here Pepsi Jobs
Pizza Hut: There are a total of 30,000 openings in this pizza chain. The company has greatly reduced the hiring time in which within 5 hours after getting selected, the driver would be on road as part of the duty. Along with drivers, pizza hut is looking for chefs, Virtual call center agents, Restaurant managers.
Walmart: Along with Amazon, Walmart is looking to add 1,50,000 more temporary staff to its company. Most of these jobs will be converted to full-time jobs once the period is over. The company has streamlined its hiring process from two weeks to 24 hours.
Some other companies which are hiring are Walgreens, Publix, Instacart, Kroger, Dollar General, Dollar Tree/Family Dollar, Albertsons, Aldi, 7-Eleven. Some of these jobs are temporary, some of them are permanent. But the critical point here is these companies are somehow helping the individuals and saving the economy by introducing these jobs.
During this pandemic of COVID-19, Amazon is planning to deliver critical supplies to the people who are in need of them, directly to their doorstep. As the demand increases day by day, the need for more labor is also essential. To handle this, Amazon is planning to hire 1,00,000 candidates in the US to its fulfillment centers and delivery network.
Amazon is welcoming the people who are economically hit during this crisis and lost their jobs like restaurant waiters, travel guides, etc to participate in this job hiring. Amazon wants these people to work for them until their original employer hires them back.
Also, along with these 1,00,000 people, Amazon wants to recognize its staff who actively participate during this crisis. In the US, Amazon is planning to increase the pay by USD 2$ per hour from the exisitng rate of 15$ per hour. Based on the region, the pay hike will be enabled. For Canada, it is 2C$, £2 per hour in the UK, and around €2 per hour in most of the European nations. To enable this until April, Amazon is investing around $350 million to handle this extra compensation.
Amazon is making sure health and safety is an important criterion for all its employees. It is planning to consult medical and health experts to maintain safety. It is taking recommended measures inside its buildings, warehouses, and stores. Also, social distancing is being practiced in its workplaces.
In Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, UP, Punjab, and Bengal new Corona cases were reported. Due to the increase, PM Narendra Modi has requested for JanataCurfew (People Curfew) on March 22
The whole tally in the country has increased to 247 due to new cases being reporting in almost every part of the country. The new cases were 32 foreign nationals and 5 deaths are from Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab. An Italian student who recovered from Coronavirus is dead due to cardiac arrest. The patient was a heart and lung patient who has recovered from Covid-19. The offices will remain close in Mumbai until March 31 as a precautionary measure. This date might be extended if the situation becomes worse.
A person who has a recent travel history to the UK has been reported to have corona. The second case for today has been reported from West Bengal. In Andhra Pradesh, a man traveling back from Saudi to Vizag has been reported to be tested positive for corona.
In Punjab, a woman who is residing in phase-3, Mohali, has been tested positive for the virus. Several other states like Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan has seen an increase in the number of cases. The total count in the country is at 247 cases. The number of people who are affected due to corona is at 10 in Ladakh and 4 in J&K.
In the 30 min broadcast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the people of India to stay at home during the coming Sunday from 7 am to 9 pm. He also said people should opt for work from home and reduce the contact with each other. He also said the World War 1 and 2 didn’t impact the world as much as Corona did. He concluded by saying people should stop panic buying.
No International Flights will leave the country with passengers of India or foreign citizens this week. Vistara has said it will operate 7 flights from Delhi to Katmandu and Singapore from March 20 to March 22 by prioritizing the customer convenience.
As coronavirus seems to impact the country a lot, Flipkart becomes the latest company to offer work from home to its employees to prevent the scarce. The employees are asked to work from home from Wednesday, especially the young parents who have children studying in fifth grade or below.
Flipkart also said that they are testing the load of the system if it can handle the traffic to enable uninterrupted remote work from home.
The Karnataka health department on Wednesday has advised all the companies to not send its employees overseas until this Corona scare comes to a conclusion. As of now, 4 people, out of which two belong to Dell Technologies Ltd and Mindtree Ltd. have tested positive for the COVID-19. Till now, a 76-year-old person from Kalaburagi in the Karnataka state has died. The government is conducting several tests to confirm its due to corona. If the tests show positive, this would be the first fatality in the country due to COVID-19.
Several other companies are also advising its employees to work from home and prevent the employees to travel outside of the country. Last week, Paytm has announced that all of its six companies will be closed for sanitizing purposes and has issued a two day leave for all the employees in the Gurgaon region after an employee tested positive.
Ed-tech startup Byju’s has said that it will give free access to its learning resources to all the students until April end. This announcement comes after the government advised all the schools to remain closed until the situation goes under control and protects students’ health.