Coronavirus updates for April 6

Here's a roundup of YourStory's coverage today of how India and the world are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

6th Apr 2020
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The coronavirus pandemic has not only put essential services under stress but has also forced governments around the world to take proactive measures.


The cabinet approved an ordinance slashing the salaries and allowances of the PM and MPs by 30 percent for a cut. The President, Vice-President, and state governors have also voluntarily decided to take a pay cut. The ordinance also proposed to discontinue MPLAD funds for two years.


Finance Ministry has stated that it will come up with a second economic relief package, which will most probably be announced by the end of the lockdown. FM Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package in the form of food grains and cash transfers for the poor.


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Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is now going back to work as a doctor as the country recalls thousands of retired healthcare workers to deal with the crisis. His neighbour, UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was hospitalised after his condition failed to improve.


Across the world, the number of positive COVID-19 cases crossed 1.3 million, with over 73,000 deaths reported. In India, the numbers have risen to over 4,600 cases and 129 deaths, according to Worldometer.


Here's a roundup of YourStory's coverage today of how India and the world are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.


Coronavirus: How Swiggy is ensuring citizens stay indoors during the lockdown


Vivek Sunder, COO, Swiggy, speaks to YourStory’s Shradha Sharma about how the delivery service is ensuring India isn’t inconvenienced during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Coronavirus: How Feed My Bangalore rapidly scaled to provide 1 lakh meals pan India


In a conversation with YourStory's Shradha Sharma, K Ganesh, promoter of Bigbasket, Venkat Narayana, CEO of Prestige Group, and Juggy Marwaha of JLL spoke about what motivated them to start the initiative amid the coronavirus outbreak and what helped them to rapidly scale across five cities.


4 days, 10M downloads: Aarogya Setu app plays key role in India's coronavirus fight


In a conversation with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma, Professor K Vijayraghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, talks about how the newly-launched Aarogya Setu app is playing a key role in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of tech and public participation.


Coronavirus: Biotech startup AmpliGene India's COVID-19 testing kit could be the fastest in the world


In conversation with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma, Dr Chirag Pandya, Co-founder and CEO, AmpliGene India, shares how their test kit uses a novel enzyme which can bring down COVID-19 test time drastically.


Here's how Mylab developed cost-effective and time-saving COVID-19 test kits for India


Mylab's team of scientists was led by the woman scientist who received praise for working on the test kits despite being in her last stage of pregnancy.


Coronavirus: Flipkart and Uber announce partnership to deliver essentials amid lockdown


Flipkart and Uber will be delivering essentials across three cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi – amidst the ongoing lockdown due to coronavirus.


Coronavirus: India shows 77 pc drop in trips to public places in Google's COVID-19 Mobility Report


Coronavirus-led lockdowns have paused public movement across the globe. India reported a 47 percent to 77 percent drop in trips to most places, according to Google.


Coronavirus: Edtech unicorn BYJU’S free offer sees 150 pc jump in new students


The initiative to support students to learn from home during coronavirus outbreak receives overwhelming response from metros and non-metros, BYJU'S said.


Coronavirus: This startup has developed an app which helps process government e-passes in a matter of hours


In times of coronavirus, Clappia's platform helps make complex process apps as easy as Excel sheets, reducing time and cost – for the applicants and authorities.


Coronavirus: Haqdarshak starts helpline to update citizens about government relief packages


As an immediate measure, Haqdarshak will be putting together an infographics package with easy-to-understand details about the Indian government's relief packages.


Coronavirus: App downloads surge as people stay locked in; TikTok biggest gainer


The coronavirus-induced lockdown is making consumers spend more time on their smartphones. India and Brazil led app downloads in Q1 2020.


Fundraising, M&A, and strategic partnerships for startups in the time of coronavirus


Startups are likely to face certain tough choices when economic activity has literally ground to a halt, and this would require some skilful tactics from the founders to navigate through the coronavirus crisis.


VCs on how to keep employees working from home motivated during coronavirus lockdown


Remote working environment has thrown fresh challenges to startups, and founders need to have a very proactive approach to retain the vibrancy of the organisation.


CorpGini’s virtual summit aims to help corporates, startups collaborate amid coronavirus crisis


As corporates and startups stare at a coronavirus-led recession, CorpGini is organising a one-week virtual summit to facilitate partnerships, pre-empt challenges, prioritise problems, and find solutions.


Indian Cops get creative with their COVID-19 messages


Indian police are finding unique ways to keep people indoors during the lockdown, through innovative messages of hope


VCs explain how founders can help their business emerge stronger during coronavirus crisis


A group of VCs have come out with certain guidelines, which are useful for startup founders to internally restructure their business to survive the impact of coronavirus


Women scientists at BHU develop low-cost method to detect coronavirus


Associate Professor Geeta Rai and her students have developed a novel test method that can detect coronavirus within 4 to 6 hours.


SIDBI comes out in support of startups during COVID-19 by launching financial assistance


The founders have to fill a form and provide details to qualify for the SIDBI funding and have to prove that they have a good business model.


Coronavirus: This Rajkot-based company made low-cost ventilators; to donate 1000 machines


The ventilators have been tested at a medical lab at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, and are being used on patients since Saturday.


9 Baje 9 Minute: Akshay Kumar, Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, and Ranveer Singh light candles to dispel COVID-19 darkness


India switched off lights and lit candles, diyas, or turned on phone torches to show the nation's collective resolve in its fight against COVID-19. Here's what nine minutes of solidarity at the homes of the country's most popular celebrities looked like.


This NGO is providing groceries to sex workers in Karnataka during coronavirus lockdown


Bengaluru-based Sangama is delivering grocery kits worth Rs 2000 to sex workers and transgender persons.


Coronavirus: Tough times need tough entrepreneurs


Tough times call for tough entrepreneurs and here is what you need to do in this hour of crisis even as businesses across the world grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.


Coronavirus: There’s a crisis in marketing, but be cautious, not afraid


Amid the coronavirus-led recession, the best way to use your marketing budget would be to focus on brand-building campaigns that impact sales in the long term.


What are the merits and demerits of using AI for recruitment and hiring


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionised several industries, and HR is no different. Several companies are now using AI-led products for hiring and recruitment. But how good are these innovations?


How to keep anxiety at bay during self-isolation in the time of coronavirus


Stress leads to panic and, in turn, to the slow and steady growth of anxiety disorders and depression that can actually debilitate people’s lives. Here's how you can keep sane during the time of coronavirus.


Coronavirus: President, PM, MPs to take a pay cut to fund govt's efforts to fight COVID-19


PM Narendra Modi, all union ministers, and over 750 MPs will take a 30 percent salary cut for a year to fund the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.


Coronavirus: Walmart India encourages customers to order online


Walmart India, which operates in the cash-and-carry format, on Monday said it is encouraging its members to buy online to avoid the rush on the streets amid the rise of coronavirus cases in the country.


Coronavirus: Preference for hygiene products to rise, online sales to zoom, says GCPL


GCPL expects a shift in consumer habits and preferences impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with a greater focus on health, hygiene and protection.


Coronavirus impact: Mukesh Ambani's net worth drops 28 pc to $48 billion in 2 months


The net worth of India's richest man Mukesh Ambani dropped 28 percent or $300 million a day for two months to $48 billion as on March 31 due to the massive correction in stock markets over coronavirus pandemic, a report said.


India between Stage 2 and 3 of coronavirus pandemic, says Health Ministry


AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Monday reportedly said that "localised community transmission" has been seen in some pockets, and that India is between Stage 2 (local transmission of coronavirus) and Stage 3.


Coronavirus: Pernod Ricard India pledges Rs 15 Cr to support healthcare facilities


Alcoholic beverages maker Pernod Ricard India on Monday pledged Rs 15 crore support to boost healthcare facilities in the country to combat the coronavirus pandemic.


Coronavirus: Bacardi to produce 70,000 litres of hand sanitizers


Bacardi has started production of hand sanitizers at its co-packing facility in Telangana, which will be distributed primarily to district government hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Coronavirus pandemic denting tourism, hospitality sector at astonishing pace: Industry body


The cascading effect of the global coronavirus pandemic is crippling the country's tourism and hospitality industry at an "astonishing pace", the Indian Chamber of Commerce said.


Google Maps to show locations of COVID-19 food and night shelters in India


Google said in a statement it is working closely with state and central government authorities to surface the locations of these relief centres.


PepsiCo commits 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits, over 5 million meals to India


PepsiCo partners with Akshaya Patra Foundation for distribution of cooked meals, and with Smile Foundation to provide dry food ration to support meals for over 8,000 vulnerable families impacted by the pandemic.


COVID-19 virus can last on face masks for a week, banknotes for days


The COVID-19 virus can stick to stainless steel and plastic surfaces for up to four days, and to the outer layer of a face mask for a week.


HCL Tech sets up COVID-19 control centre in Noida


HCL Technologies has set up a control centre for the Gautam Buddh Nagar district administration to help respond to citizens' queries about coronavirus.


Coronavirus: EPFO to accept Aadhaar as birth proof online from subscribers


The EPFO has also allowed its subscribers to withdraw three months basic pay and dearness allowance as a non-refundable advance on the ground of coronavirus lockdown.


Coronavirus: Niti Aayog CEO asks NGOs for assistance in relief measures


Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has written to over 92,000 NGOs appealing them to assist the government in identifying coronavirus hotspots and delivering services to vulnerable groups.


COVID-19: Co-working segment hit by lockdown


Co-working segment is facing a challenging time post-lockdown, with operators getting requests for rental waivers as well as cancellation of lease agreements from their clients, especially startups, freelancers, and small enterprises.


FinMin officials, banks, FIs contribute Rs 430 Cr to PM-CARES Fund


Officials of the finance ministry, banks, and other public sector financial entities have contributed Rs 430.63 crore towards the PM-CARES Fund to help fight coronavirus.


Acko General launches AI-based COVID-19 symptom checker


Infosys Co-founder Narayana Murthy-backed Acko General Insurance has launched an AI-based COVID-19 symptom checker and will provide free doctor consultation on call.


Coronavirus: Railways develops low-cost ventilator 'Jeevan', seeks ICMR approval


The Indian Railways has developed a low-cost ventilator, Jeevan, at its Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory that could save thousands of lives at a time the country is grappling with a shortage of the medical equipment in its fight against coronavirus.


PM Modi's 9-minute lights-out call goes well without disrupting electricity grid


PM Narendra Modi had urged people to switch off lights and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to display the country's 'collective resolve' to defeat coronavirus. The power supply ramp-down and ramp-up was very smooth, with no disruptions.


Coronavirus: FinMin working on second relief package to revive battered economy


The Finance Ministry is working on a second relief package for the Indian economy hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the contagion, sources said.


(Edited by Suman Singh)

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