COVID-19 cases in India have crossed the 1,25,000 mark today, mere 4 days after crossing the 6-digit mark. According to the observations made by the John Hopkins University, India shows the fastest rate of increase in growing COVID-19 cases, with 111 days to reach the 1,00,000 mark and only 4 days to add 25,000 more cases to that; the math is terrifying. The low fatality rate with, 3720 deaths, can be interpreted as a silver lining of sorts at a time when first world countries like USA are dealing with close to 6 figure fatalities. However, a cursory overview of things is never enough.
A lockdown of 2 months was imposed in the world’s biggest democracy and second most populated nation; and the consequences are truly grim. The railway track deaths of 16 laborers, two road accidents in mere one week in Madhya Pradesh with almost 20 deaths and 50 severely injured cases are few of the many accidents that have happened during this lockdown period. An unofficial number of over 300 deaths, due to causes other than the infection, is what you would find with a mere 5-minute scouring of the internet. I bet, there are many more lost voices out there, unaccounted for, merely struggling to return home and survive.
Furthermore, the ruinous state which this pandemic has left the world economy in, is estimated to be the darkest after The Great Depression of the 1930s. From an ordinary citizens point of view, one could think of a few major steps taken by the government regarding the economy in the past few years. The demonetization scheme, the implementation of GST, the dedicated aid to MSMEs in the past two financial years and the recent corporate tax reduction for companies by FM Nirmala Sitharaman. While the first two are measures which were meant to strengthen the existing economy, it is the last two which were supposed to boost it. But, with industries being shut down for almost three months, the daily-wage sector being rendered jobless and the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises struggling to exist in a plunging market, the Government’s 20 lakh crore relief package, the majority of which is dedicated to the above, seems viable in the long run. But only time will tell how things turn out to be.