New Delhi: In a major development, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday said it has granted $1.5 billion loan to India to help fund its fight against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 900 lives. Also Read - India's GDP to Grow at 7.3% in 2018-19, 7.6% in 2019-20: Asian Development Bank

The bank said that it has granted the loan to support immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention and moreover for the social protection of the poor and economically vulnerable sections. Also Read - India signs USD 65.5 million loan deal with Asian Development Bank

After granting the loan, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.told a news agency that the bank is fully committed to supporting the Indian government in its response to this unprecedented challenge. Also Read - India Signs $300 Million Loan With Asian Development Bank to Improve Fiscal Reforms in West Bengal

“The quick-disbursing fund is part of a larger package of support that ADB will provide in close coordination with the government and other development partners. We are determined to support India’s COVID-19 response programs and ensure that they provide effective support to the people of India, especially the poor and vulnerable,” Asakawa said.

The bank further added that ADB’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program will contribute directly to the improvement of access to health facilities and care, as well as social protection for more than 800 million people.

Additionally, the ADB said it will support government efforts and coordinate with other development partners to stimulate the economy, build capacity for monitoring and evaluation of government programs, and improve economic resilience against future shocks.

Lauding India’s efforts in fighting against the coronavirus, the ADB said that the country has taken proactive and decisive measures to contain COVID-19 to protect lives, including the implementation of social distancing, community quarantine, and testing and tracking.