The Reserve Bank of India on Friday announced measures to aid the economy amid the coronavirus threat, slashing the repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.4%, and allowing commercial banks and non-banking financial corporations a three-month moratorium on payment of installments of all term loans.
Seventeen people in India have died due to Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, the Union health ministry confirmed on Friday. There are 724 confirmed cases in the country, of which 640 are active.
A 70-year-old man, who last week became the first to die of Covid-19 in Punjab, is believed to have been the source of infection for 23 of the total 33 patients in the state, NDTV reported on Friday. He had reportedly met nearly 100 people after he returned from a trip to Europe earlier this month.
All domestic commercial flights in India will remain suspended till April 14 as a three-week countrywide lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic is now under way, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Friday.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday will represent India at a global meeting of city leaders, organised by the C40 group, to share lessons in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Times Now reported. The meeting will be held via video conference in the evening and the chief minister will address leaders from about 35 cities of the world.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, India’s topmost bureaucrat, on Thursday flagged that there was a gap between the number of incoming international passengers who should have been monitored for coronavirus and those who are actually being checked and warned that it could “seriously jeopardize” efforts to control the pandemic.
The Editors Guild of India on Friday issued a statement condemning the “high-handed” and “arbitrary” police action against journalists in line of duty during the ongoing countrywide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Such action is self-defeating when media freedoms are critically important for covering the outbreak and the state response,” the statement said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said 325 government schools in the national Capital will be turned into temporary kitchens that will offer free lunch and dinner to four lakh people amid the countrywide lockdown imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday said that only 2G mobile internet services will be available to residents till April 3 amid calls for restoration of high-speed 4G internet in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the Reserve Bank of India had taken “giant steps” to ensure that the Indian economy was safeguarded from the effect of coronavirus.
Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Friday slashed its estimate of India’s economic growth forecast for the year from the previous estimate of 5.3% to 2.5% due to the rising economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic, reported PTI.
The Union health ministry on Thursday limited the sale and distribution of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, a day after it banned its export to ensure that it was not misused. The Centre on Wednesday had stopped exporting the drug to ensure that enough stock was available in the domestic market.
The Indian benchmark indices inched back from session highs to fall 1% on Friday even after the Reserve Bank of India slashed interest rates, following other central banks, to counter the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Delhi Police on Thursday withdrew its order allowing online delivery services to operate in the national Capital during the 21-day coronavirus lockdown period, just hours of issuing it, PTI reported. The previous order included online service delivery in the list of “essential services”.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the world crossed half a million on Friday, with the pandemic infecting 5,31,708 people globally, and causing 24,053 deaths across 176 countries or territories, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University. Out of all the confirmed cases in the world 1,22,672 people have recovered.
Several instances of police officials allegedly punishing or assaulting people out on streets, or tipping over vegetable carts, have emerged from several states during the first two days of the 21-day lockdown.
The Reserve Bank of India on Friday slashed the repo rate, or the interest rate at which the top bank lends to commercial banks, by 75 basis points to 4.4%. The reverse repo rate was also cut by 90 basis points to 4%, said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. The reverse repo rate is the rate at which the central bank borrows money from commercial banks.
The Maharashtra Police on Thursday found over 300 migrant workers holed up inside two container trucks meant for carrying essential commodities from Telangana to Rajasthan.
Painter, writer and architect Satish Gujral died on Thursday. He was 94 years old. Gujral was born in Jhelum, Pakistan in 1925. The artist, who was former Prime Minister Indra Kumar Gujral’s brother, was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in the country in 1999.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world crossed half a million on Friday, with the US leading with 85,505 cases. The pandemic has infected 5,31,708 people globally, and killed 24,053 people across 175 countries or territories, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University. As many as 1,22,203 people have recovered.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there was a need to strengthen and reform the World Health Organization so that it can adapt to new challenges, reported The Times of India. The prime minister made the remarks during a special G20 summit video conference where the group of nations committed to unite against the coronavirus pandemic, and inject $5 trillion (Rs 374 lakh crore) into the world economy to counter the impact of the crisis.
The Maharashtra government on Thursday decided to release around 11,000 prisoners, whose term of imprisonment is less than seven years, on parole, amid the coronavirus epidemic. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh made the announcement via his Twitter handle.
The toll in the coronavirus pandemic rose to 16 in India on Thursday, as seven more people died. The total number of cases increased to 694, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Of these, 633 patients are still being treated.