Visakhapatnam: Above 5,000 of the staff of Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) across Andhra Pradesh were infected with Covid19 virus in the second wave, against less than 2 per cent of all the 35,000 IT staff in the first wave, according to the IT Association of Andhra Pradesh (ITAAP).
Nearly 20 of the infected persons including women died of Coronavirus during the peak of April and May while none had died in the first wave. All of them were aged below 47 years. Since nearly 80 per cent of the IT sector is based in Vizag, the infection rate was high in the city only.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, ITAAP president Sreedhar Kosaraju said “We tried all advanced medicines to protect our employees, like spending on an injection at a cost of upto Rs 47,000, but could not save the lives. This second wave hit our IT employees hard.”
The ITAAP then decided to vaccinate all the IT employees in June. Nearly 20,000 of these employees were vaccinated as of date and the rest would be covered by this month-end. Nearly 98 per cent of the 300 IT companies spent around Rs 1.5 crore to sponsor the vaccines for the IT staff and their family members, a maximum of up to three per IT employee, Sreedhar said.
Vizag branch Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) director MP Dubey said big companies like Pulsus Health Tech and Patra India BPO Services conducted mega vaccination drives for their company staff, thus getting ready for resuming their office operations shortly.
Despite facing the Covid19 infection, the IT export turnover of Rs 3000 crore in the state was not affected much. But the delivery services were delayed during the peak months – April and May, Sreedhar said, adding that the domestic IT turnover is around Rs 200-300 crore per annum.
“In December 2020, we decided to resume office operations, but took back the decision due to the second wave. Nearly 90 per cent of the IT employees are working from home. We are awaiting clarity on the speculated third wave to restart the services at our offices,” Sreedhar concluded....