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India shuts down 75 Covid-19 cities

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV)  — A day after India asked 100 million people to stay home amid a growing spread of the Coronavirus, the central and state government are now imposing a complete shutdown in 75 districts across India where COVID-19 cases have been reported. Domestic flights, buses and trains are also suspended, with only essential services and businesses being allowed to continue through the end of the month. While the total number of cases in India is still relatively low, with 341 cases as of Sunday, India is frantically working on producing hundreds of thousands of test kits since government officials believe that number is just the tip of the iceberg.

Meanwhile, President Trump opened his latest coronavirus briefing saying that he may loosen CDC guidelines after the 15 day period recommended amid growing economic fallout, saying “our country wasn’t built to be shut down.” “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul became the first Senator to contract COVID-19 and now some of the Senators he’s come into contact recently, including Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah, are now choosing to self-quarantine.

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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