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Virus boosts digital payments in India where cash ban failed

Virus boosts digital payments in India where cash ban failed

Finance
By Vrishti Beniwal and Suvashree GhoshThe coronavirus outbreak may finally accomplish what India’s shock demonetization four years ago failed to achieve: Use of digital payments is soaring for everything from groceries, electricity bills and cab fares. The value of transactions on the Unified Payments Interface, a platform created by India’s largest banks in 2016, reached an all-time high last month as people feared to handle banknotes amid the pandemic. Electronic fund transfers from banks, which had dropped in April as economic activity slowed almost to a halt, have also rebounded. “People who have never paid a bill online are paying online, people who have never bought groceries online are buying online,” said Nityanand Sharma, chief executive officer of Get Simpl Technologies Pvt Ltd.,

Hong Kong shuts schools as new virus cases increase

Health
Hong Kong says it is suspending classes for students through middle school following a rise in coronavirus casesByThe Associated PressJuly 10, 2020, 8:48 AM1 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleHONG KONG -- Hong Kong's government on Friday said it is suspending classes for students through middle school following a rise in coronavirus cases. The semi-autonomous Chinese territory has reported 1,365 cases with seven deaths. The increase in new cases prompted the government to tighten social-distancing measures. Kindergarten, primary and secondary schools will be closed until further notice, according to the education department. Officials reported 42 new cases on Thursday, 34 of them locally transmitted. Most of the new cases were related to known clusters, includi...
The Latest: Texas has its biggest daily rise in virus cases

The Latest: Texas has its biggest daily rise in virus cases

Health
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has reported its biggest daily increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases — 8,258. Hospitalizations also continue to climb. Much of Texas began mandating face coverings Friday on the orders of Gov. Greg Abbott. The mask order carries a $ 250 fine. The order is the most dramatic about-face that Abbott has made as he retreats from what stood out as one of America’s swiftest reopenings. Texas health officials on Saturday said the state’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now at 191,790. State health officials also reported 33 additional deaths linked to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. That brings Texas’ total to 2,608 deaths. Hospitalizations stood at 7,890 on Saturday, an increase of 238 from Friday. ——— HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNO
The Latest: More Florida beaches to close amid virus surge

The Latest: More Florida beaches to close amid virus surge

Health
MIAMI — More Florida beaches will be closing again to avoid further spread of the new coronavirus as officials try to tamp down on large gatherings amid a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Sunday in Pensacola that interactions among young people are driving the surge. Meanwhile in Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, authorities said they would be closing beaches during the busy Fourth of July weekend following the decision of Miami-Dade County to close theirs between July 3 and July 7. The Florida Department of Health reported on Sunday more than 8,500 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths in a day. New hospitalizations are also ticking upward, although not as dramatically as the new cases. State officials on Friday announ
The Latest: Flight departs UK to deliver virus aid to Africa

The Latest: Flight departs UK to deliver virus aid to Africa

Health
JOHANNESBURG — Britain's Royal Air Force says the first in a series of flights taking coronavirus aid to Africa has departed for Ghana with materials for a field hospital with capacity for nearly 100 people. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that the U.K. is the first NATO ally to come forward with an aid flight after NATO agreed to support the United Nations’ appeal for airlift assistance. The pandemic and travel restrictions have severely affected flights to the African continent and the delivery of crucial cargo including medical supplies. The U.K. says up to five flights are needed to deliver the field hospital to Accra. Ghana has more than 15,000 confirmed virus cases. ——— ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has announced a record increase in fuel prices days before the en