The Economic Times
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| 19 January, 2021, 05:10 PM IST | E-Paper

    Coronavirus Impact: India Inc to go soft on executive appraisals

    With some sectors recovering much faster than others, experts said top executives of some companies may get decent salary increases while some others may have to take a pay cut.

    For hospitality and tourism sector, 2021 is all about survival, recovery

    Although the black swan event shook the very foundation of this vibrant and bustling sector, the players are putting up a brave front, optimistic to regain the "lost vibrancy in the latter half of 2021" and are banking on 'revenge travel' once the health crisis is controlled to help the sector recover.

    2020 Year in Review | Covid-19 split startup world into haves, have-nots

    Who gained, who lost? ETtech takes stock of the changing startup fortunes in a pandemic-marred year.

    UAE central bank extends stimulus scheme to stem COVID-19 impact

    The UAE economy is expected to shrink by 6.6% this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated, as vital sectors such as transportation and tourism have been badly hit by the coronavirus.

    174 million travel and tourism jobs could be lost in 2020 due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions: WTTC

    If the current restrictions to international travel continue through to the end of 2020, resulting in a limited recovery , the impact will be devastating, with as many as 174 million million jobs lost globally.

    Coronavirus pandemic, Line of Actual Control tensions cast shadow on Ladakh tourism industry

    The tourism industry in India and across the globe has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but the impact is felt harder in Ladakh because the tourism window here is squeezed to just a few months -- mostly from April to mid-October - due to harsh winters.

    Coronavirus impacts tourist bookings in Ladakh

    Ladakh, known as the cold desert, is a famous international tourist destination attracting large number of visitors especially interested in mountain expeditions and longer solitary stays. In 2019 also, there was dip in tourist arrivals in Ladakh due to Lok Sabha election, erratic flight services and late opening of Leh-Manali highway.

    Travel and tourism sector likely to lose Rs 5 lakh crore due to COVID-19 crisis: Report

    The organised sector alone is likely to lose $25 billion.The figures are quite alarming and the industry needs immediate measures for survival, according to the CII-Hotelivate report.

    Impact of coronavirus on Indian tourism could run into thousands of crores of rupees

    According to industry chamber CII, this is the one of the worst crises ever to hit the Indian tourism industry impacting all its geographical segments - inbound, outbound and domestic, almost all tourism verticals - leisure , adventure, heritage, MICE, cruise, corporate and niche segments.

    International tourism could decline by 60-80% in 2020: UN

    The global international agency said that the pandemic has caused a 22 per cent fall in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2020.

    Tourism sector comes to a standstill as quarantine fears loom

    With India temporarily suspending visas to people from China and those who visited China due to coronavirus outbreak, restrictions on travellers from several other affected countries, and fresh cases emerging in Europe and the US, leisure and business travel, both incoming and outgoing, has taken a hit.

    Coronavirus impact on economy: Govt to soon announce steps to soften the impact, says FM Sitharaman

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 20 said that she had meetings with multiple ministries including Civil Aviation and Tourism and Animal Husbandry to announce stimulus packages to reduce the impact of shutdown due to coronavirus outbreak. She said that the economic task force, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to nation on March 19, has not been constituted yet. “The compilation of the data from the meetings is going on, will update soon,” added the Finance Minister. Coronavirus impact on economy: Govt to soon announce steps to soften the impact, says FM Sitharaman

    Coronavirus impact may render 3.8 crore people jobless in tourism, hospitality sector

    The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) also said there should be a support fund for twelve months to support basic salaries with "direct transfer" to the affected tourism employees. "As a result of this pandemic, Indian tourism industry is looking at pan India bankruptcies, closure of businesses and mass unemployment," FAITH said in a letter to PM Modi.

    Coronavirus: Viral fever spreads to local tourism

    The Covid-19 outbreak has started showing its impact on the domestic tourism sector and summer bookings to leisure destinations like Rajasthan and the hills, said industry executives, even as number of person s with the novel coronavirus infection in the country has crossed the 50-mark on Tuesday.

    Outbound travel business falls by a third amid coronavirus fears

    Forward bookings for the upcoming busy summer season are down at least 20% year on year, senior executives at airlines and travel companies said. The Indian government also cancelled all visas issued to Iraninan nationals and all foreigners who visted Iran after February 1 this year.

    Hotels may see 20-40% fall in occupancy rates in Mar-May due to COVID-19: Report

    While the plunge in occupancy could be 30-40% for mid-scale and two-star hotels, the same for four-star hotels and above categories could be 20-25% for the next three months beginning March -- which is peak season due to summer holidays and weddings, the report said, citing the increasing number of cities going under full or partial lockdowns.

    Coronavirus: How it impacts your money

    As trade and commerce get disrupted, Indian companies are likely to feel the heat as well.

    Last-minute airfares drop as coronavirus count rises; Mumbai-Delhi return flight at Rs 5,000

    According to a report in Times of India, last minute fares on Mumbai-Delhi for a return flight have dropped to as low as Rs 5,000 for a flight scheduled to depart in next 24 hours. “Mumbai-Delhi flights are always in high demand and even off-season, last minute fares don't drop so low," the report quoted a travel agent as saying.

    Covid-19 lockdown takes sheen off Tamil Nadu's tourism sector, renders 'lakhs' jobless

    Suspension of surface transport as well as domestic and international air travel, closure of hotels and restaurants, and thousands of places of worship, beaches and tourist spots have dealt a severe blow to the tourism industry leading to job losses and an economic impact that may take months to heal.

    Tech-savvy women could beat coronavirus job blues in the Arab world

    The pandemic has taken an especially heavy toll on retail, tourism and hospitality jobs traditionally held by women, but experts say those able to retrain could tap into growth areas like digital marketing, e-commerce and online customer support.

    India faces revenue fall as coronavirus bites economy: Sources

    India faces a sharp decline in government revenues and economic growth for at least two quarters as the coronavirus hits economic activity and a fall in investor sentiment impacts privatisation plans, government and industry sources said.

    Jhunjhunwala Q4 pick: A play on tourism, this stock has many ‘buy’ ratings even in times of coronavirus

    Analysts have already cut FY21 EPS estimates for the stock by up to 50 per cent.

    Nepal halts all mountaineering expeditions, suspends tourist visas

    Nepal on Friday suspended permits to climb Everest because of the coronavirus pandemic, closing off the world's biggest mountain a day after China halted access from its side.

    Rajasthan’s thrust will be on textile, agriculture and domestic tourism: Sachin Pilot

    The real economic activities in Rajasthan are taking place in the rural areas. On April 18, we had 62,000 NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) workers; on May 5 the number jumped to 16.5 lakh, said Pilot.

    Dark deja vu for European economy as coronavirus cases spike

    While the new restrictions are so far not as drastic as the near-total shutdown of public life imposed in the spring, they are kicking an economy that's down. For many Europeans, there is a foreboding sense of deja vu.

    Travel, tourism, hospitality need government support: IT veteran

    "Lots of people dependent on taxi service are facing the impact because people are not at present using taxis. So, these are the sectors that will require immediate support. Even footfalls at retail shops and movie theatres have come down. These are the places where financial support is required from the government," Gopalakrishnan, said.

    PM Modi sets up task force to assess coronavirus impact on economy

    The task force is expected to come out with concrete proposals very soon: V K Vijayakumar.

    Travel the world from your armchair: Virtual vacations become the new normal in pandemic era

    The new breed of 'travel potatoes' are not just browsing the net.

    Navigating 2021 with ET: Trends that will help you navigate a risky and uncertain world

    A number of themes will shape the course of the Indian economy through 2021 and beyond. These themes — investing, the future of work, the acceleration of digitisation, and the impact of the pandemic on contact-intensive.

    COVID-19 impact: Singapore's economy contracts 41.2% on quarterly basis in April-June

    An early outbreak of the virus was followed later by a surge in cases among Singapore's sizable migrant worker population. That prompted authorities to suspend nonessential services and close many offices to stem the spread of infections. The economy contracted 0.3% from a year earlier in the first quarter of the year and 3.3% in quarterly terms.

    Coronavirus: The biggest challenge right now is business continuity

    As the Covid-19 outbreak hits companies hard, CFOs like Vaish are bracing for what many are referring to as the toughest phase in their careers.

    Lockdown led to 30% surge in resumes from job seekers: Recruitment firms

    Placement firm TeamLease Services has received 22,367 resumes in May from hospitality sectors alone, up a staggering 444 per cent from 4,109 in the previous month. Professionals who are proactively looking out have either been handed out pink slips or are facing job threats as their companies take the restructuring route, said executives aware of the matter.

    Covid + Lockdown impact: Kerala estimates Q1 loss of Rs 80,000 crore to GVA

    Kerala govt report estimates a loss of about Rs 80,000 crore in GVA to the Kerala economy in Q1 (Apr-Jun) of 2020. For March, the shortfall in GVA could have been roughly Rs 29,000 crore. The direct and indirect losses in gross state value addition (GSVA), based on an input-output model, is estimated to be 10% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21.

    India-Australia ties become comprehensive strategic partnership in pandemic-riddled 2020 as China looks on

    India and Australia, against the backdrop of their frosty relations with China, unveiled a ''shared vision for maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific'', a region which has been witnessing growing Chinese military assertiveness triggering concerns among major players.

    Dubai economy to grow 4% in 2021, rebounding from this year's contraction

    Dubai Statistic Centre said the economy declined by 10.8% in the first six months of 2020, which the centre's executive director, Arif Al Muhairi, said was within the expected range of economic contraction, given the massive global economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    World economy may shrink because of coronavirus: OECD

    In a special report on the impact of the virus, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Monday that the world economy is still expected to grow overall this year and rebound next year. But the OECD lowered its forecasts for global growth in 2020 by half a percentage point, to 2.4% - and said the figure could go as low as 1.5% if the virus lasts long and spreads widely.

    Pandemic shatters world order, sows anger and mistrust

    Hopes that nations might set aside their differences to combat the coronavirus crisis have largely evaporated.

    Tourism takes a hit as Chinese stay at home

    The spread of Wuhan coronavirus has cast a pall on the Indian tourism industry as tens of thousands of travellers from China are cancelling bookings, with many more to follow suit unless the outbreak is contained quickly, experts said.

    G20 in virtual huddle as coronavirus death toll tops 21,000

    World leaders are to hold online crisis talks Thursday on the coronavirus pandemic that has forced three billion people into lockdown and claimed more than 21,000 lives.

    Impact of Covid-19 will be felt more on SMEs: Sanjeev Prasad, Kotak Institutional Equities

    Global economies may feel the impact of Covid-19 for a longer period of time even if there is a decline in number of new cases, or a discovery of a vaccine against the virus, said Sanjeev Prasad, co-head, Kotak Institutional Equities. In an interview with Sanam Mirchandani, Prasad said investors would prefer owning large-cap stocks and betterquality companies than investing in the broader market. Edited excerpts:

    Here's why Singapore's coronavirus death rate is the lowest in the world

    While the parameters of the disease continue to be studied as the pandemic progresses, current global trends suggest its impact has been less severe for younger people, many of whom show few or no symptoms.

    View: Coronavirus lockdown is a $28 billion gig-loan buster

    While many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America also use microcredit to grease consumption at the bottom of the pyramid, India’s banks and shadow financiers are already reeling under a severe crisis of confidence.

    Indian banks shelve fundraising plans as coronavirus derails markets

    Bank of India was planning to raise around Rs 2,000 crore ($269 million) via a QIP.

    Airbnb makes tweaks to refund policy amid spread of coronavirus

    Airbnb’s policy is that all reservations are able to be canceled within 48 hours of booking for a full refund. Beyond that, it’s up to hosts to determine the refund policy, which are stated on the listings and range from flexible to strict.

    How Indians are dealing with the onset of a deadly coronavirus outbreak

    This virus has been a great leveller, affecting people irrespective of their wealth and social status.

    Coronavirus: Visitors vanish from Asia's most visited sites

    Many of the now vanished visitors are from China - a country whose travellers have completely reshaped the tourist economies of Asia over the last few years, yet where only around 10 percent of the population hold passports.

    View: For the hospitality industry, it’s time to hit the reset button

    Today, the need of the hour is to prepare to resume operations, but in a responsible manner.

    Saudi Arabia plans spending cuts to trim deficit amid virus

    The kingdom expects its deficit to hit USD 79.4 billion this year, according to a government budget statement released late Tuesday, an estimated 12 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.

    Coronavirus accelerates in Italy by 50%; death toll stands at 34

    Coronavirus infections in Italy rose 50% Sunday and the US government issued its strongest travel warning yet. Authorities said the total number of people infected in Italy had risen to 1,694, a 50% jump from just 24 hours earlier. 5 more people infected with the virus have died, bringing the deaths in Italy to 34, while 83 people have fully recovered.

    COVID-19 crisis likely to hit 29 lakh jobs in Indian aviation, dependent sectors: IATA

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said its latest estimates indicate a worsening of the country impact from the COVID-19 crisis in the Asia-Pacific region. About India, IATA said the pandemic is expected to potentially impact 29,32,900 jobs in the country's aviation and its dependent industries.

    Coronavirus: Rs 3,570 crore loss due to cancelled events, need govt support, says IEIA

    The impact of COVID-19 outbreak on exhibiting and trade show industry has been unprecedented with multiple global and national events being postponed or cancelled in the country, IEIA said in a statement.

    FII selling, coronavirus uncertainty behind rupee turmoil: Mahendra Jajoo

    Concern over the inability to predict coronavirus impact topped with selling by FPIs led to this uncertainty in the currency market, says CIO- Fixed Income, Mirae Asset Investment Managers.

    Greek economy may contract 11% percent in 2020, central bank says

    The government now expects a contraction in output of around 10.5%, according to the latest 2020 projections in the 2021 government budget now pending approval in the country's parliament.

    How small businesses are adapting to survive the coronavirus crisis

    The innovation and creativity of small entrepreneurs offers an interesting case. There was a time when every small business would set for itself the target of when to seek venture funding, when to go public, and how to scale up and become large. These may not be the default goals after this crisis. There may be renewed respect for remaining small, local and niche.

    Lockdown has had disastrous impact on hospitality sector; govt support needed: Industry

    Going ahead, occupancy in India is going to be very low. So hotels will have to either shutdown or run in a very limited manner, a hotel owner said. The government has also requested industries to not lay off staff and cut salary, where in liquidity is a problem. Under this situation, the industry is going to go sick very fast unless you have the external source of capital, like holding company.

    FHRAI seeks stimulus for hospitality sector after suffering huge losses

    All the tourism verticals have been severely impacted by the coronavirus crisis.The hospitality sector which is reeling from huge losses due to cancellations of bookings after the coronavirus outbreak is now seeking stimulus packages from government to pay their large workforce and hoteliers in the times of pandemic.

    Covid Impact: Maharashtra stamp duty collections plummet 40%

    “This is largely because property registration offices were shut during the COVID19 lockdown,” said Sandeep Reddy, co-founder, Propstack - a real estate and financial data intelligence provider. ”There could be a temporary increase in property registrations once the offices resumes but over the next fiscal year 2021 we expect a significant decline in stamp duty collections for Maharashtra.”

    Economic impact of Airbnb in India stood at $320 million in 2019: Report

    India's tourism economy is one of the largest in Asia-Pacific (APAC) in terms of spending, with its growth having accelerated significantly in the years preceding the coronavirus pandemic, the report said.

    When will travellers return? Decimated by Covid-19, travel and hospitality recovery will be a long stretch

    The travel industry is bracing itself for the new changes that will have to be factored in post lockdown.

    As coronavirus hits travel, Adani ready for India aviation growth

    Adani did not mention the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on any growth plans. Global air travel has slumped since March, with government-imposed coronavirus restrictions and public wariness about travel hitting airports and airlines.

    Condition to improve but more airline bankruptcies likely in 2021: Fitch

    “Spiking coronavirus cases in various regions and inconsistent travel restrictions will keep airline traffic low at least through the first part of 2021, with limited improvement expected relative to levels in 3Q20 and 4Q20,” the report said.

    Given up on IRCTC? Analysts say it may rally 100% once coronavirus vanishes

    Analysts are positive IRCTC will bounce back quickly once the cloud of uncertainty lifts.

    Travel with discretion: Experts predict Coronavirus’s effect on tourism will last till 2021, advise practising caution

    The impact of the pneumonia-like disease caused by Covid-19, is already being felt across the Asian continent.

    COVID-19 impact: New Olympic date likely 'this week': Organisers

    New dates for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will likely be revealed this week, organisers said Monday after the coronavirus forced the historic decision to postpone the Games until next year.

    Lockdown hits business activity across Europe

    A final composite PMI for the euro zone plummeted to a record low of 29.7 from February’s 51.6, lower than the flash reading of 31.4 and marking by far its biggest onemonth drop since the survey began in July 1998. The 50 mark separates growth from contraction.

    UNCTAD estimates economic impact of Covid-19 at $1 trillion

    Even as we await FM Sitharaman to unveil GoI’s Covid-19 mitigation economic package, the stimulus could be oriented towards the poor, unemployed and vulnerable sections such as contractual daily wage labourers as well as MSMEs. An income support of about Rs 7,500/month could be credited to the accounts of low-income and informal workers for 3 months.

    Coronavirus: Mass cancellation of hotel bookings in Kerala, says Minister

    A day after the Kerala government declared the novel coronavirus as a 'state calamity', Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Tuesday said the epidemic outbreak had begun affecting the tourism sector as hotel bookings have suffered mass cancellations.

    COVID-19 to delay job interviews; impact hiring: Experts

    "Since the outbreak of COVID-19, companies have been cancelling interviews. We expect 60-65 per cent interviews getting dropped or delayed as there is lockdown in many parts of the country and people are encouraged to stay at home to curtail the spread of the virus," TeamLease Services Business Head BFSI and government vertical, Amit Vadera told.

    IRCTC shares crack 50% in 17 sessions; firm expects Rs 80 crore hit from coronavirus

    The scrip tanked to Rs 950.35 on March 20 from Rs 1,952.45 on February 25.

    Airlines reach out to centre for bailout from Covid-19 impact

    Airlines are seeking incentives including a significant slash in taxes on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and waiver or reduction in landing and parking charges, among others, said the civil aviation joint secretary Usha Padhee.

    Coronavirus outbreak: Preemptive measures in place to ensure no disruption to supply chains: Sanjeev Sanyal

    Steps have already been taken to identify specific goods and ensure their imports especially pharmaceuticals, he said. Certification agencies have been directed to ramp up capacity to issue certificates expeditiously.

    Govt may miss tax, disinvestment mop-up targets this fiscal due to coronavirus

    For an economy where GDP has already slowed down to an 11-year low, coronavirus has made matters worse.

    China's 'shadow trade war' threatens Australia

    Biting new Chinese trade tariffs have stoked fears that Australia's virus-weakened economy is being targeted for political retribution and the two countries may be sliding into a shadow trade war.

    Packaged foods, hygiene products sold most during lockdown: CARE Ratings

    Aerated drinks, including soft drinks concentrates, witnessed decline in production by 52.2%, following mass shutdowns of soft drink hotspots - hotels and restaurants, malls and cinemas, pubs and bars, live events, airlines and travel, the CARE report said.

    West Bengal says it will abide by Centre's orders on lockdown

    The assurance came hours after the Centre accused the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government of obstructing a Central team deputed to assess the coronavirus ground situation.

    An epic battle, about to unfold, could decide the fate of virus-ravaged Goa economy

    On April 21, the Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing a plea by billionaire Anil Agarwal’s commodities giant Vedanta Ltd. to restart iron ore mining in the nation’s smallest state, known for its palm-fringed beaches and 16th century Portuguese churches. The move has the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

    Japan acted like the coronavirus had gone. Now it has spread everywhere

    But now the island nation is facing a formidable resurgence, with Covid-19 cases hitting records nationwide day after day. Infections first concentrated in the capital have spread to other urban areas, while regions without cases for months have become new hotspots.

    Virgin Atlantic's pandemic pain is sending ripples of hurt through the aviation ecosystem

    From check-in through takeoff and landing, travelers with Virgin Atlantic end up interacting with hundreds of other companies the airline has hired to provide the services and goods that make up a smooth flying experience. It is the same with most big airlines. Virgin doesn’t cook the in-flight food, or print the menus, or build the business-class seats, or de-ice the wings, or unload the baggage at the airport, or return your luggage when it gets lost; it hires companies to do these and many more tasks.

    Saudi Arabia plans to launch special economic zones in 2021: Minister

    Speaking to a G20 panel, Falih also said the kingdom's Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy away from oil was more popular today than ever and that the country was emerging from the coronavirus pandemic with a resilient economy and private sector.

    Treatments that can wait make private hospitals wait for revenue

    The impact on revenue for private hospitals is expected to last for the next two quarters, ICICI Direct said in a note. For some hospitals, the drop in patients from overseas is a concern.

    Plea in Supreme Court seeks to nationalise all health care facilities in India till COVID-19 is contained

    The plea, which claimed that India does not have sufficient public healthcare infrastructure to combat the pandemic, has also sought a direction to all healthcare facilities, institutes, companies and related entities to provide free of cost tests and treatment for coronavirus. In last budget, India chose to spend only 1.6 per cent of its total estimated budget expenditure on public health.

    Impact analysis: Which sectors to take biggest hit from virus crisis & which ones will survive with some bruises

    These businesses would have to take care of both inventory and inventory valuation issues.

    Global economy could shrink by almost 1% in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic: United Nations

    The analysis by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) said the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting global supply chains and international trade. With nearly 100 countries closing national borders during the past month, the movement of people and tourism flows have come to a screeching halt.

    Japan's economy exits recession as GDP grows 5.0% in Q3

    A rise in domestic demand as well as exports helped drive the quarter-on-quarter growth, after the coronavirus pandemic and a consumption tax hike slammed the economy into reverse earlier in the year.

    Bitcoin beats coronavirus blues

    Bitcoin is currently the best performing asset class in the last one year.

    GDP likely to grow just 2% in 2020-21: Icra

    Despite the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) massive actions to spur the economy, India's gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to contract by 4.5 per cent in the April-June 2020 quarter and will rise by only 2 per cent in 2020-21 on the coronavirus impact, according to domestic rating agency Icra.

    Covid-19: FM Nirmala Sitharaman takes stock of situation, holds meeting with four ministries

    On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation had said the government is setting up a 'Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force' to decide on relief package for sectors hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    Battling COVID-19: What the industry wants

    CII has suggested a bouquet of measures to help businesses battling the 21-day shutdown

    ASEAN talks tackle coronavirus pandemic, South China Sea feud amid America-China rivalry

    The 10-nation bloc's foreign ministers will meet their Asian and Western counterparts, including those from the US and China, for talks later in the week, capped by an annual security forum.

    Tour operators, hotels brace for slump after visa suspension

    Tour operators estimate January-March quarter earnings could fall by more than 60 per cent.

    Covid-19 no risk for Indian Hotels yet, analysts keep positive stance

    Epidemics such as Covid-19 tend to affect the travel and tourism sector significantly as travellers postpone plans.

    JK govt plans to build 600 km highway along border to explore picturesque tourist sites

    While picturesque Keran and Machhal are located along the Line of Control in Kupwara district, Gurez is a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains in Bandipora district. Kargil and Drass now fall under the Union Territory of Ladakh. Gulmarg, located about 50 km from Srinagar, is one of the best tourist attractions in the country with its snow-clad mountains, magnificent beauty and winter game facilities.

    One of China’s most ambitious projects becomes a corridor to nowhere

    Almost seven years after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was established, there’s little evidence of that vision being realized. The site of the new airport, which was supposed to have been completed with Chinese funding more than three years ago, is a fenced-off area of scrub and dun-colored sand.

    Facing pandemic economic woes, Nepal reopens to adventurers

    For now the reopening will come with restrictions and mainly be limited to those seeking to to climb or trek its famous peaks. Nepal is home to the eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world, including the tallest, Mount Everest.

    How five nations in Europe and Asia contained coronavirus

    Slovenia, Jordan, Iceland, Greece and Vietnam all have one aspect in common. All are bound by one success story in times of despair. All five have successfully fought Covid by adopting effective and timely measures.

    Europe risks a new economic downturn as lockdowns return

    The risk of another severe downturn in Europe is rising as new lockdowns take effect in countries like Germany, France and Belgium, where authorities are desperate to prevent a surge in coronavirus infections from overwhelming hospitals.

    'Astro-stays' bring tourists and solar power to Himalayan villages

    Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) has brought solar electricity to more than 130 Indian villages, benefiting about 60,000 people, while setting up home-stays for tourists that have generated more than $100,000 in income for villagers.

    Covid-19: Race for Indian vaccine hots up, human trials on in 6 cities

    Both BB and Zydus were granted permission for Phase I and II clinical trials and administered the first doses of their vaccine candidates to volunteers on July 15. A third vaccine candidate, developed by Oxford University, is soon to be tested in India. Serum Institute, which is in a manufacturing partnership with the UK’s Astra Zeneca, has said it will begin human trials as soon as it receives regulatory approval.

    Donald Trump’s closing argument on virus clashes with science, and voters’ lives

    The president has continued to declare before large and largely maskless crowds that the virus is vanishing, even as case counts soar, fatalities climb, the stock market dips, and a fresh outbreak grips the staff of Vice President Mike Pence.

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