As the entire country waits with desperation for the lockdown to get lifted, the drastic increase in the number of Covid-19 since last week indicates that our wait could be longer. Though Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Delhi, Telangana and Kerala are the worst affected States, it is not to be concluded that the other states have been spared by this deadly virus. Whereas, globally, it has infected about 12.7 lacs people, in India, 4200+ cases of Covid – 19 have been verified by the Health Ministry as on 5th April, 2020. While 111 people lost their lives to Corona, the untiring doctors have managed to save about double the lives.
Till 6th April, evening, which is nine days before the lockdown is assumed to be lifted, the capital city or India, Delhi,is dealing with more than 550 corona positive cases
Now a very natural question arises- even after maintaining the strict lockdown across the country, what factors have led to its failure? Since this lockdown was declared without any premonition, thousands of migrant workers working in India were left with no option but to move in masses to their respective hometowns. This had led to mass congregation of people, a situation very favourable to the spread of coronavirus.
Something even more disastrous happened between 13 to 15 of March and that was the religious congregation of nearly 2100 people, including some foreigners, at Nizamuddin Markaz. On 16th of March, the Delhi government had banned all the social, cultural and political gatherings and had also issued a statement to vacate the local markets, malls and public institutions. On 24th March, the nationwide lockdown was announced. And on 26 March, the Tablighi Jamaat’s officials filed an application for permission to vacate the Markaz’s premises and transfer its workers. And that was where the hell broke loose! Now coming directly to the present scenario, about 30% of the overall cases verified in India are of people related to Tablighi Zamaat. If the Economic Times is to be believed, the virus is now spreading nationally with an approximation of 4.1 days, whereas, without Jamaat’s irresponsible activities, it would have been 7.4 days. It has now been factually testified that the positive cases of covid-19 almost doubled in India post this Nizamuddin Markaz incident. The problem doesn’t end here. Even after being detected and quarantined, the Markaz attendees did not mend their ways and have been reported to have misbehaved with staff at Delhi’s Quarantine Units.
They were apparently spitting on the people from the bus they were being carried to so that the virus could reach the maximum number of people. Although the communal or political roots of this unexplained behaviour in this present time of national crisis is unexplained, it is for sure that the India’s Battle against Corona has weakened significantly and it seems almost improbable for the central government to take the situation under control in just next few days. Mr. Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has already extended the section 144 in his state (UP) till 30th April. This has caused many apprehensions in other states as well. Moreover, the Indian Prime Minister’s conference meeting with all the state’s chief ministers implies that the lockdown will be removed in a “strategic manner”. Tracing back the history of the failed lockdown in India so far, it can be predicted that the lockdown across the country will be extended and this extension could stretch upto Mid May, if scientific theories around coronavirus spread are to be believed. It also means that India will take some significant time to roll back to normalcy.
Since Coronavirus has not left any part of a common man’s life untouched, the economic fabric of the country has totally staggered. Be it the Big multinational companies established in the four Metropolitan cities in India, or be it the small startup- everybody is facing the grunt of the virus. Bill Gates had once warned that a virus could lead to a global economic depression and it seems like this prediction will turn out to be true if this lockdown is not lifted on the declared date. It is important to note here that in 1918, the notorious Spanish flu had adversely affected Europe’s economy. With financial emergency already in the picture, it is pretty predictable that an extended lockdown will take Indian economy to its origin, which is not a very pleasant scenario. The entire occupational structure of Indian economy will be affected as all the three active sectors, be it primary, secondary or tertiary will fail to reach to their highest potential in the times of extended lockdown.
In fact, Aviation Consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has said that all the major activities across the world might go bankrupt if situations do not improve soon. It is also important to understand that Covid – 19 has totally disrupted the demand and supply chain. With the contact chain of the Tablighi Jamaat cases still being traced, the lockdown and social distancing will continue to impact the work of Businessmen.
Globalisation and Industrialisation will become a far fetched idea, at least for a few months to come, if not more. The government might suggest some alternatives but with this globally noxious situation in sight, the startups should start moving to the digital platform and might start asking for some financial cooperation from the established authorities meant to address employment concerns. The wise thing to do in these testing times is to keep a close watch on the ruling government’s steps and make more domesticated strategies for ourselves.
The longer lockdown period would definitely mean longer load on the Indian government for medical supplies, food without any revenue-generating model and entire country locked down and thus a longer lockdown will definitely put the country into a state of comma.