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The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic imminent. Can the Indian economy cope up with another lockdown?

The cataclysmic Covid-19 infection looks set to endeavor the roots of the Indian economy once again. But the question is, are Indians and the Indian economy ready for another vengeance of the global crisis? When Indians were relishing the sudden drop-off in cases at the start of 2021, overhauling concern of another lockdown bombards in their consciousness. Alongside the fret of the second wave, the looming possibility of another lockdown is seeming ever more likely. The reminiscence of the previous year is questing concerns over Indian people and the Indian economy. The economy that has just gathered its pace after an unforgettable restrainment cannot afford another hurdle in its pathway.

After facing a year full of uncertainty and stagnation, the Indian economy does not hold a dominant position in the global markets. The stranded businesses have not had the chance to bolster up their industrial production amid all the government sources suggesting that the Indian economy is going smooth on the road to recovery. It almost feels like all our efforts to gain heed were left in vain by the Coronavirus pandemic, which struck blatantly in India with its full-force. Moreover, it seized on the misinterpretation and carelessness of Indians as the surge reached its pinnacle in the third quarter of the last year. As per the statistical data, Covid-19 cases reached a nationwide peak of 90,000 infections per day in September last year.

THE PERTURBATION IS: ARE WE HEADING BACK TO THE SAME SITUATION AS LAST YEAR

Last year was nothing short of piling up miseries to another. 2020 was that kind of year where what you felt might go wrong went worse. An elongated lockdown resulted in almost 14 million people losing their jobs. The heeding together of jobs demand and supply became strenuous to exercise. The Covid-19 cases had spiked up to record highs in September last year before dramatically dropping below pandemic levels in the first week of February 2021, reporting around 11,000 daily. At the time of ebb and flow, the majority of the Indian people virtually wrung out. Indian economy’s recession has reached beyond the cope-up level with a contraction of 23.9 of the GDP in the first quarter of 2021. These are the ramifications of the abrupt lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 23. While making the revelation, he gave the people a limitation of four hours to adjust to the new stupefied reality.

The covid cases are going up emphatically in certain states of India since the beginning of March. Has the second strain of Coronavirus infection mounted up its feet in India? Are we going to experience another halt in the presumed growth of the industries? Apparition of another lockdown is swaying in the air, but the situation differs from what it was a year ago. The world has moved far away from being under constant threat of the virus. A variety of vaccines recently got instilled into our Administration, and hopefully, the recent surge should get concentrated within a small proportion. Since the opening of economic activities in India, people have become complacent in dwelling safety precautions. It is a ridden fact that we could head towards the contingencies of last year until and unless a resolute initiative is taken either by the Government or Indian citizens.

Is the government even considering the prolepsis of another lockdown?


Expectations and reality seem far apart when it comes to the government’s handling of welfare activities. With assembly elections scheduled in four states, it is improbable that the government even conspires to another lockdown. Covid-19 infections appear to be the farthest in the minds of the people contesting the elections. Is it true that when the government becomes responsive to questions, it fades away in the deepest shadow? The government at the moment is only indulged in organizing their rallies and putting allegations on one another on media outlets. Has the culmination of Covid-19 even changed a bit in terms of trouble for the migrant workers? Migrant workers were suffering the effects of the bizarre mishappening even before, but another frail in the country’s growth could lead them to wobble around the roads once again. Those who were fretful of another lockdown are facing the stigma of mental disruptions.

Today, India exposed 53,476 new coronavirus infections in a day, the highest single-day spicule so far this year. The Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das asserted the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the country is a matter of distress. Moreover, he claimed that this time India is in a better position to handle the pandemic. “The renewed surge in COVID-19 cases in the country matter of concern, but we have additional insurances this time to tackle the afflictions,” said RBI chief at the India Economic Conclave (IEC) 2021 underway at Delhi.

Is it that coherent for the government to surpass the prolepsis infection? We doubt that certainly! At the same time last year, we were hobbling around surfacing the benumbed global crisis. So what has changed over the past year? The government has not enacted policies to calibrate the growth of the downgraded sectors. RBI has not given any monetary benefits to migrant workers.

To expect such subtlety from the government officials is in itself a matter of debate. The suggestion would be to follow the Covid-19 protocols and stay safe from getting infected. Today’s scenario has overhauled the stringent lockdowns, as people have started gathering at social and religious events like the pre-covid era. The Kumbh festival is in full swing in the Apes of Haridwar, and the crowd congregation is even more than in the pre-covid age. Until when can we avoid ourselves from going out to endeavor places? With the implications of the vaccine, can we not feel completely safe against the virus?

After the rise in disparity, are we ready for another lockdown?

Over the past year, people are trying to retrieve the net income incurred in the pre-pandemic levels. The dramatic blooming of Covid-19 didn’t go well for many of the individuals in India. As the Indian economy suffered enormous contraction, it needed enhancement in the later phases of 2020. Although the government set up plans to promote industrial production in remote areas, it was barely to encourage the hopes of the migrant workers. With the government continuously triggering complicated policies since the lockdown, the migrant workers who lack awareness have fallen way behind the pecking order.

There is a lack of clarification on what’s the next plan of the government referring to the second phase of protracted lockdown. With the tests hampering in conspiracy, we face a cranking outburst of Covid-19 once again in India. Even if a lockdown is announced in India, nothing will change until we change our health culture. We have been confined to work remotely, and it is affecting the working progress of the companies. Not only does it lack in performing real-time services, but an office contingent environment couldn’t be built at home.


If the numbers go on rising, will the government coerce to impose a total lockdown again?

Initially, the lockdown got imposed in March 2020 to flatten the curve of transmission of the coronavirus. It was concocted with a motive, to slow down the infections’ rapidness and give the hospitals ample time to provide health-related services to the vulnerabilities. The results were far from satisfactory, as some were fortunate to avail themselves the treatment while others left languishing, which erupted many casualties. The only silver lining among many other miseries, If one could call it, was India’s case fatality rate at 1.5 percent, the lowest in the world.

At its height in September, the lockdown was still severe and, as the government gradually started easing it, the numbers came down – confounding anyone who would have attempted to credit the lockdown alone with the fall in cases. Was the decline in infections due to the Rapid Antigen Testing? While it got observed worldwide that the Rapid Antigen Tests do not culminate the desired outcomes in India. According to the reports derived from the World Health Organization, the efficacy rates of Rapid Tests ranges more than 85% to be considered deliberate. While improving the contentiousness is necessary, we recommend the public go for the RT-PCR Tests to find more conclusive results.

By the end of December last year and February this year, the economy started to look up, the sentiment of the downtrodden industries enlightened, and it almost seemed that the pandemic had become a far distant memory in our hindsight. The pandemic’s toll appears to be ever-lasting, as the last couple of weeks have shoved aside all the meticulous happenings. Ideally, the lessons learned from last year’s pandemic could be a handful to avoid more casualties in the second wave of the coronavirus. With the dreadful pandemic, our financial future remains uncertain we remain hopeful of bolstering our profits in the next quarter. But with the lockdown standing on the fringes of coming back with full force. How ready are we to handle another hampering to the economic development of India?

DOES OUR ECONOMIC POSITION ALLOW US ANOTHER HINDRANCE IN GDP GROWTH?

Our economic position has not stabilized since the emergence of the world’s biggest lockdown on March 23. The GDP growth of India has faced a recessionary phase between April and June 2020. Following a 23.9 % collapse in the economy in the initial months of the lockdown, the Indian economy gradually spiked up. So contemplating the economic depression over the past year, it would be very harsh for the Indian citizens to oversee another crippling crisis. Subsequently, there have been significant ill-effects of the lockdown on the lives of chronic workers in India. Although there has been a slight recovery concocted, it got directed towards the big corporations. The situations of Indians remain far-off from breakthrough strides, and the vision of revival could face another thwarting if the lockdown gets imposed. Despite the lockdown getting protracted, its notion didn’t impact the surge of the cases.

The sharpest decline in the pandemic-dented economy year observed in the backbone sectors of India, including Trade, Hotels, Transport, Communication, and Services related to broadcasting (-21.4%), followed by Construction (-12.6%), Mining, and quarrying (-12.4%), and Manufacturing (-9.4%). Public Administration, defense, and other services contracted by 3.7%. So how could we anticipate the economy to bolster if the lockdown is frailing within our sights? The government policies impeded the growth of the small manufacturers as they suffered the facade of Rs. 20,000 Lakh Crores that the government was going to invest in these sectors. The investment got no reflection in the bank accounts of the underprivileged manufacturers. Failing to acquire the relief package, they throttled on the roads searching for work to sustain their lives. Does the lockdown solve any of these issues? No! We have to look beyond imposing a total lockdown in India, as it would crumble the slight recovery. The insights provide us the details that during the stringent lockdown, the cases reached their pinnacle. During the reluctance of going out, people breached rules by going out in masses, banging thalis, enlighting diyas. Where was the government’s attention while all of the tribulations happened? They were nowhere to enact the laws then, and this time they have to resort to thinking about what’s the best for the citizens and the Indian economy. Lockdown isn’t the solution to douse the pandemic, and it would suggest prompting something more indigenous.

 

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Tanish Sachdev

Tanish seeks new opportunities as a professional content writer and writes on several fundamental topics like businesses and economics. The focal point remains on expressing opinions on critical aspects concerning the economy.

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