“The Reserve Bank of India stepped forward on Wednesday to help combat the devastating second wave of coronavirus hitting the country, with the announcement of $ 6.7 billion soft loans to finance vaccine manufacturers, hospitals, and companies in the sector, Sanitary.
Low-interest loans will be available until March 31 next year, announced the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, who promised “unconventional “” measures if the crisis worsens.
Shaktikanta Das announced after it was learned that India had registered 3,780 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, a record number, and 382,000 additional infections. This devastating wave of the pandemic is attributed, among other reasons, to religious and political gatherings in recent months and the lack of action by the authorities.“The immediate goal is to preserve human life and restore livelihoods by all possible means,”” added Das.
In contrast, the head of the Indian Central Bank did not recommend a nationwide lockdown because restrictions have already been applied in the regions most affected by the virus.
“The devastating speed with which the virus affects different regions of the country must be accompanied by swift and wide-ranging action, “” said Das.
RBI measures aim to improve access to emergency medical care during the pandemic. It will be easier for banks to make cheap loans to hospitals, oxygen manufacturers, and even patients.
Das said the central bank would also give some companies an additional term to repay their loans to support the economy.
India’s underfunded health care system has struggled to cope with the latest onslaught of the pandemic, with patients dying on the doorstep of hospitals due to lack of care and oxygen. India, with 1.3 billion inhabitants, has registered more than 222,000 deaths and about 20.3 million cases since the start of the pandemic.
Some experts have estimated that the rise in the number of infections could last until the end of May and reach the threshold of 500,000 new daily cases.
After several months of strict confinement, the country has tried to recover, which caused the collapse of the labor market and the contraction of almost a quarter of its economy between April and June of last year.
Asia’s third-largest economy was already mired in a slowdown, even before the pandemic broke out. The blow to world activity caused by Covid-19, together with the strict confinement of the country, seriously worsened the situation. Fearing other economic devastation like last year, the authorities imposed restrictions but remain reluctant to impose a widespread lockdown.
On Sunday, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) called on the government to act and “reduce economic activity.”
“Response measures must be taken at the highest level to break the chain of contagion and also use this period to rapidly build capacities, “” said IIC chief Uday Kotak.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned a deaf ear even to the Supreme Court’s request to consider stricter measures. To stimulate its economy, India began a mass vaccination campaign in January, but only 160 million doses were administered.”