World Coronavirus Dispatch: Google-Apple join hands for contact-tracing

A rare partnership

Silicon Valley giants Apple and Google are developing technologies into their smartphone platforms that will alert users if they have come into contact with a person with Covid-19.

This will be out by mid-May, and users will have to ‘opt-in’. It’ll also have the ability to wirelessly exchange anonymous information with and via apps run by public health authorities.

This could be the most powerful initiative, significantly more impactful than local government apps, as over 95 percent smartphones in the world run on either Android or iOS. It has the potential to monitor a third of the world’s population. Read all about it here (

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 1,712,674

Change Over Yesterday: 100,028

Total Deaths: 103,796

Total Recovered: 388,910

Nations hit with most cases: US (466,299), Spain (157,022), Italy (143,626), France (118,785), and Germany (118,235)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus

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States want up to Rs 10-trn package from Centre, deficit financing from RBI

States on Saturday demanded a package of up to Rs 10 trillion from the Centre and dues such as compensation on account of goods and services tax (GST), besides front-loading grants to local bodies. They also wanted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to go for deficit financing, which is printing notes, to help these packages.

During the virtual meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked for a national economic relief package of Rs 10 trillion, which can be disbursed to the states.

Funds from this can be used to fight the pandemic as well as support the states’ economies.

Last month, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a Rs 1.70 trillion central package. However, Banerjee contended it was only 1 per cent of national GDP and the Centre needed to spend more.

“Globally we are seeing Japan, the US, and

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