Sinking Economy Smashes Corona Lockdown!
India becomes the first country in the world open up rapidly even as COVID-19 cases hit new highs
On 24th May, India hit a new high of 7111 cases in a single day
On 27th May, new high of 7246 cases
On 28th May, new high of 7254 cases
On 29th May, new high of 8138 cases
On 30th May, new high of 8332 cases
Active Cases which were 73146 has increased to 89706 in the week between 23rd and 30th. That is a jump of 22.6%.At this rate, we will end up with millions of cases by end of the year.
Much of the jump in cases across all States in the last one week has happened due to the movement of people in Trains and Planes. In the new version of the Lockdown, in areas that are not in containment, many Public places like Places of worship, Restaurants and Shopping Malls will open up from June 8th. There are no limits/passes needed for inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. Other places will open in July and August.
Impact of Opening up is Difficult to Predict
Inspite of having the most strict lockdown for two months, India has not been able to flatten the curve. The mass transport of Citizens via trains has led to a massive spike in cases. So at the moment it is difficult to predict the exact number of cases and deaths in the near future for the following reasons
- Many of the places opening up in June are middle and lower middle class activities, it is unclear what % of population will return to these activities quickly.
- The data received from States is no more reliable as it shows mis-reporting of Cases, Deaths and Testing Data.
While the Governments across the country want to give the impression that they are opening up with confidence and they know what will happen next, the reality is harsher, they had no choice!
Unlike China whose GDP in Q1 fell by 6.8%, India’s Q1 GDP is likely to fall off the cliff (anywhere between 30% to 40%). This is on top of an economy that has been slowing for the last 2 years. As the recent CRISIL study showed, not opening up will have a lasting damage to the economy for the next 3-4 years.
India will just have to hope the casualties remain low and we don’t end up losing precious members of our families by the end of the year.