India announces $6.7 bn in cheap loans for vaccine, health firms

India announces $6.7 bn in cheap loans for vaccine, health firms

India's hospitals have seen critical shortages of oxygen, beds and vaccines 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," Das added. India's underfunded health care system has struggled to cope with the …
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