India seeks $6 billion loans from AIIB, ADB to combat COVID-19: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 04, 2020

India is seeking loans worth $6 billion from multilateral institutions including the Asian Development Bank to combat COVID-19, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The central government is in talks with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and ADB to secure these loans to further the testing and infrastructure facilities in the country.

India has already secured $1 billion funding from the World Bank to better its health sector for fighting against the coronavirus pandemic according to previous reports. The World Bank on Thursday approved a fast-track $1 billion “India COVID Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project” to help India prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic and better its public health preparedness. It was the largest ever healthcare sector support from the World Bank.

This funding will cover all states and union territories. It will help in managing the requirements of infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency staff, medical service providers, medical and testing facilities, and national and animal health agencies.

With the rising number of cases, India needs to further ramp up testing in order to better understand the exact status of the pandemic in the country. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will release new guidelines on conducting rapid tests today. Furthermore, it also needs to increase production and import of personal protection equipment (PPE)s and maximize the stock of equipment such as ventilators.

The Indian economy will also take a major hit owing to the 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the pandemic. According to ADB’s outlook for the financial year 2020-21, India’s economic growth is likely to slow down to 4 per cent this fiscal on the back of the current global health emergency.

The World Bank is also likely to top up this package with two more packages for social security and the economy which could be over $1 billion to help mitigate the repercussions of COVID-19, Economic Times reported on Saturday.

India has currently reported over 2300 active cases of COVID-19 in the country as of Friday according to the Union Health Ministry.

Published on April 04, 2020

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