India has begun round the clock surveillance of incoming passengers at key airports and ports following outbreak of the swine flu in several countries. The passengers are checked individually for clinical symptoms. The health authorities have made arrangements for analyzing blood and saliva samples of suspects at designated institutes. In a bid to decentralize its stock of medical supplies, such as Oseltamivir capsules, the government is dispatching them to the states. A stock of 1000 capsules is being kept at airports and ports.
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India has not yet reported a single suspect case of the flu. One passenger from Texas, who reported flu like symptoms in Hyderabad, was later declared healthy.
Mint on Tuesday reported that government might reverse the new foreign direct investment guidelines for the banking industry. As a result of new norms a few private sector banks could be classified as foreign owned. For instance ICICI bank, India’s largest private sector bank and HDFC Ltd, the largest home lender, could be considered foreign-owned. Overseas investment in ICICI was 63% as of 31 March. And in the case of HDFC it is over 50%. Declared the banks as foreign owned would affect their investment capabilities and pose regulatory challenge before the authorities.
Low cost airlines have begun to expand aggressively in India. They are increasing flight frequencies and reaching newer destinations to garner more market share.
Here’s some good news on Indian economy. Several global banks and finance companies such as UBS AG, Barclays Capital and Macquarie Bank are predicting a quick turn around for India---as early as June. This is in sharp contrast to Reserve Bank of India’s warning last week that worse is not yet over. In another unrelated news outgoing Indian finance secretary Arun Ramanathan has told Mint’s deputy managing editor Tamal Bandyopadhyay that the stimulus packages announced the government are working.