India COVID crisis; AstraZeneca's EU troubles; TSMC announces expansion

In today's episode, we will revisit India’s COVID situation as the country grapples to meet rising oxygen and drug demands, discuss the possibility of AstraZeneca facing legal action in Europe, and take look at how chipmaker TSMC is planning to meet the ongoing surge in demand by expanding its manufacturing capacities.
Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • India saw a new COVID record, registering a single-day rise of 314,835 cases last Thursday. The country’s capital, New Delhi, according to State Chief Minister - Arvind Kejriwal, required 700 tonnes of medical oxygen every day to sustain the demand. Other large cities like Mumbai, too, continue to face an acute shortage of both medical oxygen and the COVID treating drug Remdesivir. In such a situation, India has to mass order, medical oxygen from countries having a surplus. India, however, is facing transportation challenges. 

  • The European Union is contemplating a legal case against AstraZeneca for failing to meet its supply commitments. After several media houses reported about the possibility of a lawsuit against the vaccine manufacturer, EU officials clarified that the decision has not been taken yet to file legal proceedings. AstraZeneca, too, said that it is not aware of any legal proceedings "and continues to hold regular discussions on supply with the commission and member states". The possibility of a legal case, however, remains open. According to several media reports, all EU member countries, barring France and Germany, were in favour of legal action against the company in a meeting held last Wednesday. 

  • Leading chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company approved a $2.89 billion spending to increase capacity in response to the global chip shortage that continues to impact operations of several companies, particularly those in the carmaking sector. Aided by this growth in demand, TSMC had recorded 18% higher revenue in January-February compared to the same period last year. But despite operating at 100% capacity the chip maker remains short of meeting the growing demand.

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