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Coronavirus: Indian Government implements month long travel ban

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Coronavirus

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV)  — With the Coronavirus officially declared a Worldwide pandemic, the Indian Government is taking steps to quarantine Covid-19 by implementing a month long travel ban to the country.

Effective starting March 13th, India will suspend all existing visas (excluding diplomatic, official, UN/International Organization, employment, and project Visas) until April 15th; Visa free travel granted to OCI card holders will likewise be postponed until the same date.

Foreign nationals seeking to travel to the country during this suspension are being asked to contact their nearest Indian Mission/Consulate with relevant and compelling reasons to justify breaking the quarantine.

In addition to this, India will require all incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, that have visited China, Italy, Iran, the Republic of Korea, France, Spain, or Germany after February 15th 2020 to be subject to mandatory medical screenings and quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

Alongside these hefty air travel ban policies, checkpoints have been erected alongside India’s borders to implement robust screening facilities. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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United States COVID-19 death toll tops 3,700, more than 9/11

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SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Diya TV)  — The growing impact of COVID-19 in the United States is forcing states that have been holding out on issuing stay at home orders to do so. Now 80% of United States citizens are being asked to stay at home. But the damage is clear. Nearly 200,000 Americans have the coronavirus, with the death toll topping 3,700, more than 9/11. The White House projects the loss of life on the low end will be between 100,000-240,000 people. And President Trump admits the next two weeks will be “very, very painful.”

In India, Prime Minister Modi announced the Reserve Bank of India is reducing their lending rate and increasing liquidity, efforting to help businesses and the working class from the impact of the Coronavirus. They also told all lending institutions to allow a three-month moratorium on loan payments.

At least 25 people are dead after a Sikh temple was attacked by Islamic State in Kabul, Afghanistan, with scores of pilgrims being held hostage.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi compares COVID-19 to Mahabharata

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SACRAMENTO (Diya TV)  — Indian Prime Minister Modi compared the war against the coronavirus to the Mahabharata in his latest address over the pandemic, saying that war was won in 18 days and that this battle will take at least 21 days, in reference to the massive lockdown his government imposed Tuesday. Modi emphasized COVID-19 did not differentiate between rich and poor, that people need to stay physically distant from one another and he is very upset over reports some people are mistreating frontline workers like doctors and airline crews.

With California under a complete shutdown because of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom struck a deal with 4 of the 5 biggest banks, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and US Bank, to allow mortgage holders to defer payments for 90 days. Bank of America agreed to a 30 day deferment. It will be a help in the short term for many homeowners as more than 1 million residents have now filed for unemployment benefits in the state according to the governor.

Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package for big and small businesses, as well as individuals affected by the coronavirus. Unemployment benefits will be increased, one-time cash payments are being offered, as well as loans to bolster businesses. There are now more than 66,000 COVID-19 cases nationally, nearly one-third of which are in New York City.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Bloom Energy shifts focus to refurbish old ventilators

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Bloom Energy

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Diya TV)  — California Governor Gavin Newsom made a special visit to Bloom Energy, a Silicon Valley clean energy company led by Indian American CEO K.R. Sridhar. He was joined by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who saw how the fuel cell giant converted an assembly line to refurbish life-saving ventilators. Now Bloom Energy is asking folks with supplies of unused, out-of-service ventilators to contact them so they get those devices online to help those suffering with COVID-19.

Panera Bread’s CEO Niren Chaudhary spoke at a White House press briefing to announce a partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture and Children’s Hunger Alliance to serve fresh meals to children who normally get meals at school throughout the state of Ohio, with the goal to expand around the country.

Some workers from both Amazon and Instacart walked off the job in the hopes of getting more protection and hazard pay as they continue to work while much of the country is asked to stay at home in the fight against the coronavirus. Both companies are hiring by the thousands to meet demand. Instacart, which is led by CEO Apoorva Mehta, said the strike had no impact on their operations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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