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RBI Says $6.7 Billion In Cheap Loans For Vaccine Makers, Hospitals

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RBI Says .7 Billion In Cheap Loans For Vaccine Makers, Hospitals


RBI Says .7 Billion In Cheap Loans For Vaccine Makers, Hospitals

The new measures aim to improve access to emergency health care during the pandemic. (File)

Mumbai:

India’s central bank released $6.7 billion in cheap financing for vaccine makers, hospitals and other health firms on Wednesday, to counter the devastating coronavirus surge gripping the country.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said cheap loans would be available until March 31 next year, and vowed to deploy “unconventional” measures if the crisis worsens.

He spoke as India announced a record 3,780 deaths in 24 hours as well as 382,000 cases.

“The devastating speed with which the virus affects different regions of the country has to be matched by swift and wide-ranging actions,” he said.

With hospitals complaining of critical shortages of oxygen, beds and vaccines, the new measures aim to improve access to emergency health care during the pandemic, he said. It will be easier for banks to give cheap loans to hospitals, oxygen manufacturers and even patients.

“The immediate objective is to preserve human life and restore livelihoods through all means possible,” Mr Das added.

India’s underfunded health care system has struggled to cope with the latest Covid-19 onslaught, with patients dying in hospital parking lots due to a lack of beds and oxygen.

The country has tried to claw back lost ground after a stringent, months-long lockdown caused the labour market to collapse and the economy to contract by nearly a quarter between April and June last year.

India was in the throes of a prolonged slowdown even before the pandemic, and the hit to global activity from the virus and one of the world’s strictest lockdowns combined to deal the country a severe blow.

Fearing a repeat of last year’s economic devastation, authorities have so far imposed limited restrictions, attempting to strike a balance between keeping the economy going and targeting outbreaks in the hardest-hit regions of the country.

New Delhi is hoping the economy will get a further boost from a massive vaccination drive that kicked off in January, with 160 million shots administered so far in the country of 1.3 billion.



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ICYMI: Israeli airstrike destroys the building that housed foreign media offices in Gaza

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ICYMI: Israeli airstrike destroys the building that housed foreign media offices in Gaza



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Israel strikes Gaza building housing international media offices





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Tigress Found Dead In Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger Reserve; 4th Death In 10 Days

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Tigress Found Dead In Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger Reserve; 4th Death In 10 Days


Tigress Found Dead In Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger Reserve; 4th Death In 10 Days

This is the fourth tiger death reported from the state in 10 days. (Representational)

Bhopal:

A radio-collared tigress was found dead in Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger Reserve, a senior forest official said on Sunday.

This is the fourth tiger death reported from the state in 10 days.

The carcass of the tigress, identified as P-213 (32), was found on Saturday in Gahrighat range of the Panna Tiger Reserve, located over 350 km from Bhopal, the official said.

The tigress was spotted with swelling in its left leg on May 12, he said, adding the feline was then tranquilised and later released after being provided medical treatment.

On Saturday, forest officials reached the spot after getting information about the carcass. They did not find any illegal activity there, the official said.

The tigress seems to have died of natural causes, he said.

After the autopsy, the carcass was disposed of as per guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), he added.

Earlier, the decomposed carcass of a tiger was found in a buffer zone of the Bandhavgarh reserve in MP on Friday.

On May 8, a tiger was found dead in the state’s Kanha Tiger Reserve.

Besides, a dead sub-adult tiger (aged between 18 and 24 months) was found floating in a canal of an inter-state water project in Balaghat’s Waraseoni tehsil on May 7, officials said.

Madhya Pradesh is home to a number of tiger reserves, including Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Satpura and Panna.

The state had regained the top position in the 2018 census with a population of 526 tigers.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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After 83 Deaths, Goa Health Minister Says Oxygen Supply Streamlining At Biggest Covid Hospital

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After 83 Deaths, Goa Health Minister Says Oxygen Supply Streamlining At Biggest Covid Hospital


After 83 Deaths, Goa Health Minister Says Oxygen Supply Streamlining At Biggest Covid Hospital

A 20,000-kilo litre oxygen tank was commissioned at the Goa Medical College and Hospital on Saturday.

Panaji:

The oxygen supply at the Goa Medical College and Hospital was getting streamlined following the commissioning of a new tank of life-saving gas at the facility, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Sunday.

Over the last five days (till Saturday morning), 83 patients died at the state-run medical facility during the “dark hours” between 2 am and 6 am, as per official figures.

A 20,000-kilo litre oxygen tank was commissioned at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Saturday.

Vishwajit Rane told PTI that the oxygen supply at the GMCH was getting streamlined after the commissioning of the tank.

“Now, we should not have problems regarding the oxygen supply. The commissioning of the tank is a major step towards solving this problem,” he said.

The tank was shifted from Bicholim industrial estate and the move would reduce the GMCH’s dependence on oxygen cylinders, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Saturday.

On Saturday, GMCH Dean Dr Shivanand Bandekar said it was not right to attribute all the deaths during the “dark hours” over the last few days to a drop in oxygen levels as COVID-19 fatalities were taking place throughout the day.

“There can be several reasons,” he had said. The Goa government earlier told the Bombay High Court that there were “logistic issues” related to the supply of medical oxygen to patients.

The High Court’s Goa bench had asked the state government to take corrective steps.



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