(Bloomberg) -- India’s central bank announced loan repayment relief as well as steps to boost credit to key sectors as policy makers sought to cushion the blow on the economy from the world’s worst outbreak of virus infections.

The Reserve Bank of India will provide loan relief to some small businesses for a period of up to two years to keep them going through the pandemic period, Governor Shaktikanta Das said in an unscheduled address on Wednesday. The central bank provide will give 500 billion rupees ($6.8 billion) of liquidity support to banks for lending to vaccine makers, hospitals and providers of health services.

Das has been meeting with bankers and shadow lenders in recent weeks to discuss the economic situation, possible stress to balance sheets and credit flow in the system. Localized lockdowns imposed by Indian states to flatten the world’s fastest rising pandemic curve has already begun hurting businesses and jobs, with potential to inflate bad loans at Indian banks.

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