India and Covid19 – What is ahead post covid19 for the largest democracy
India is trying hard all the possible ways to contain the spread of dangerous Covid1. Dangerous in terms of its ability to rapidly spread to larges people. The disease is believed to be harmful to elder and small children and people with existing medical illness. Hence it is advisable for people in this group to stay as cautious as possible.
The first positive case in India was reported on January 30 in Kerala. A student who had returned from Wuhan university had tested positive for covid19. Then the Kerala government has taken all possible measures to contain the spread and is successful in stopping it from spreading to others for a short time. But at that time who expected that it’s not this one person who needs to be isolated, there are many people at that point in time who are returning from foreign countries including china and there is no possible way other than to just check the temperature of the returning people to identify the illness. But most of the cases that are seen in India today are Asymptomatic. It was on February 4th Kerala govt has taken the fight forward by declaring covid19 as state calamity.
Later only on March 19, the central government has gone far to take the decision of complete lockdown across the country. Later till MHA has continuously observed the situation and kept on taking the hardest decision facing the one in a time situation across the country.
On May, 30 MHA has announced that it will start unlocking the economy slowly and published guidelines for the opening of the economy across the country. Restricting the operation in the containment zones and allowing all the operations in the other zones, the biggest challenge in front of government is to contain the spread and stop it to spread to new areas at the same time resuming the economy as the country is already in the worst face.
Now what lies in front of the country and how India is going to face the situation is what is of interest for everyone. When it comes to the history of India is facing the worst situations, India has successfully faced most of the global challenges and came out of each one surprising the world. But this time the situations seem different.
Effect of Lockdown on India
From day 1 India’s lockdown has a huge impact on the economy of the country. Announcing the lockdown immediately completely restricting all the industries and operation, people across the country are stranded where they are. The lockdown has effected the country economically, socially and physiologically. The worst-hit are the startups and manufacturing industries. And also the migrants who are nowhere to go and no means of transportation to reach home. We see daily in the news and reports where lakhs of migrants with no means of life, started walking towards their native with hopes of reaching the home before they are out of their energy.
Even the former RBI governor in a note said that ” India needs to resume the economy soon and any further lockdown will be devastating.”
Global reports also point out that India has the worst hit in terms of economy, and there are large challenging in front of it. And it is time India has to take the decision to start the operations back.
In India because of lockdown public places, restaurants, pubic operation startups and recreational places are completely shut. This also affected the social behaviour of the people. People are more scared now to move to any public place and are very cautious using the services.
It is expected that almost 80% drop in recreational activities.
Grocery and shops visit has dropped to a level of 60%
Use of public transport has dropped to almost 80% +
source: Google community mobility report
What is the challenge ahead for India
Now as India has announced new guidelines names ad Unlock 1 There an opportunity to restart the economy slowly and carefully at the same time containing the spread. But in fact the task is more challenging than it seems to be. Because as public transport has resumed operations including trains and flights, it is important to note that it may spread to new places and even to villages. Hence once if this spread is beyond control there is no way but to come back to lockdown again.
Hence the challenge is more difficult because India cannot afford another lockdown and anymore restriction will only make the future uncertain.
Already the information from many companies reveals that a lot of employees are fired from the organization to reduce the staff and expenses due to no activity in the economy. This also increased the number of unemployed people in the country. New data sources reveal that the unemployment in India is almost 26% which is very high considering the dense populations in India and also the people who are below the poverty line in India. If the situation will not recover soon, many people will come under poverty and will face an unemployment crisis.
There is also challenging to bring back the sentiment of people. It is seen that people are now not willing to spend much and are more concentrated on increasing the cash savings to face any situation like this. hence it is important to keep money in the people pockets more so that they can spend more and hence can revive the economy again.
The situation of Industries and companies is also worrying. Most of the companies are running with no revenue for the past few months and many more are already about to come to a situation with no cash reserve. Hence it is important that more credit is given to these companies and more benefits to being provided to them to make them sustain the present situation. India has already announced rupees 20000 crore economic stimulus packages that include packages for different sectors. Now the implementation of these packages is what makes the future of the Indian Economy.