News World India curbs diagnostic testing kit exports as virus spreads

India curbs diagnostic testing kit exports as virus spreads

India is restricting the export of most diagnostic testing kits, as coronavirus cases in the South Asian nation topped 3,350 on Sunday despite a three-week nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the respiratory disease.

India, which in recent weeks already banned the export of certain drugs, along with ventilators, masks and other protective gear needed by both patients and medical staff, issued the latest directive on Saturday.

The move comes even as U.S. President Donald Trump urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a phone call on Saturday, to release supplies of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which is being tested as a possible treatment for patients with COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“The two leaders agreed to remain in touch on the issue of global supply chains for critical pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and to ensure they continue to function as smoothly as possible during the global health crisis,” White House spokesman Judd Deere, said in a tweet on Saturday.

In a briefing note on the conversation, India said the two leaders “agreed to deploy the full strength of the India – U.S. partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19.”

BANGLADESH STIMULUS PLAN

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Asia, home to roughly 1.9 billion people, climbed close to 7,000 on Sunday, even as the death toll from the respiratory disease in the Indian subcontinent rose to 143.

While the figures are relatively low in comparison with the United States, China, Italy and Spain, health experts fear that the spread of the pandemic in South Asia would overwhelm already weak public health systems in the region.

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday unveiled a 727.50 billion taka ($8.56 billion) stimulus package to help the economy overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The amount is equivalent to 2.52 percent of gross domestic product,” Hasina said in a televised address.

Reuters earlier this month reported that Bangladesh, the second-largest apparel producer after China, is set to lose roughly $6 billion in export revenue this financial year amid order cancellations from some of the world’s largest brands and retailers.

Bangladesh has so far recorded 88 cases of the disease that has so far claimed nine lives.

Following are government figures on the spread of the coronavirus in South Asia:

– India has 3,374 cases, including 77 deaths

– Pakistan has 2,880 cases, including 45 deaths

– Afghanistan has 337 cases, including 7 deaths

– Sri Lanka has 166 cases, including 5 deaths

– Bangladesh has 88 cases, including 9 deaths

– Maldives has 32 cases and no deaths

– Nepal has nine cases and no deaths

– Bhutan has five cases and no deaths

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Thirteen new corona virus cases detected out of 3,486 tests

According to the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health 13 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected out of a total...

Results of island-wide random tests will show the way forward, scientific team says

The 10,000 corona virus random tests that were launched yesterday island-wide will show the way forward on how to address the pandemic, members of...

Bad loans in Cyprus down by €43 million in the first quarter of 2020

Cyprus recorded a further decrease of €43 million or 0.5% in aggregate Non Performing Loans (NPLs) at the end of March 2020 compared with...

Baby born as Beirut blast rips through hospital

As a devastating blast wave tore across Beirut after a warehouse explosion, Emmanuelle Khnaisser prepared to give birth to a baby boy as the...

Mainly fine weather with orange alert for extremely high temperatures on Friday

Mainly fine weather on Friday with an orange alert for extremely high temperatures issued – in effect from 12pm to 5pm. Temperatures are expected to...

Taste

Octopus ‘Kathisto’ (or Octopus braised in Wine)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped fine 1 large octopus, about 2kg (cleaned and kept whole) 3/4 cup dry red wine 1/3 cup...

Homemade lemonade

Ingredients: 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar Method: Thoroughly wash the lemons with soap and warm water. Roll each lemon with the palm of your hand, pressing...

‘Striftaria’ mini cheese pies

Ingredients 1 ½ cup milk 2 tbsps. flour 4 tsps. of butter 3 eggs, slightly beaten + 1 extra with 1 tbs. of milk for spreading 1 pack of...

Mini potato canapes baked on salt

Ingredients Serves: 12 1kg small Cypriot potatoes rock salt, as needed 250g salted butter 300ml full fat cremé frâiche 1 pot cod or salmon roe Method Prep:20min › Cook:35min › Ready in:55min Take...