COVID-19 impact on India | Multiple sectors affected in six months of lockdown
India is one of the most affected countries from coronavirus pandemic. The government imposed nationwide lockdown in late March to combat the spread of the novel disease. After six months of closure India has the second highest number of cases in the world with more than 5.73 million positive cases. The government lifted lockdown restrictions in a phased manner while the shutdown took a toll on the country’s economy.
The lockdown restriction halted the most economic activities and led to job loss of millions of people and revenue streams. The government took precautionary measures to curb the virus spread by restricting the movement but the virus wreaked havoc in the country. The virus killed many, including those who were fighting the battle against it to safeguard others’ life. Let’s take a look at the impact of COVID-19 during the six months since the lockdown.
Healthcare Sector | Healthcare is the epicenter during this unprecedented global pandemic. Lack of medical investment and healthcare infrastructure are the biggest challenge for an effective response in India in a battle against the novel pandemic. Amid the rising cases lack of healthcare facilities like shortage of beds, lack of protection equipment.
GDP Contracted | In the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021 India’s Gross Domestic Product collapsed by 23.9 percent amid the coronavirus lockdown.Job Loss | The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the job landscape in India. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) about 21 million salaries employees lost their jobs during April-August. There were 86 million salaried jobs in India during 2019-20. In August 2020, the count was down to 65 million after 3.3 million jobs were gone in the particular month, mostly among the industrial workers and white collar workers, as per the CMIE.
Income Loss for Vulnerable Section | The lockdown has impacted the disadvantaged groups with a greater magnitude. India’s vulnerable section lost incomes amounting to as much as Rs 4 lakh crores, or nearly 2 percent of the country’s annual GDP.
Suicide Rate | The ongoing pandemic has affected people’s mental health majorly. According to the data compiled by a group of researchers at Jindal Global School of Law, suicide was the leading cause of over 300 non-coronavirus deaths reported in India from March 19 till May 2 due to the distress triggered by the nationwide lockdown.
Travel & Tourism Industry | Indian travel and tourism industry is one of the worst-impacted sectors by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and hospitality consulting firm Hotelivate. Tour operators, including both online and offline as well as inbound and outbound will lose $4.77 billion. The entire value chain linked to Travel & Tourism is likely to lose around 5 lakh crore or US $65.57 billion, with the organized sector alone likely to lose US $25 billion.
Hospitality Industry | The CII-Hotelivate report says that the shutdown which was initially expected to affect revenue streams till October have now indicated otherwise and only 30 percent of occupancy in hotels till the start of 2021. Currently hotels are seeing an 80 percent- 85 percent erosion in revenue streams. The hospitality industry, including branded and unbranded hotels, will incur a revenue loss of $19.31 billion, as per the CII-Hotelivate research.
Metro Rail Services | The country has been under lockdown since March 25 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, imposing strict curbs on activities and travel across the country. Ever since then the metro rail was also shut nationwide till the government lifted the restrictions and allowed the metro trains to resume services from September 7. While the services were shut, the metro incurred huge revenue loss.
Indian Railways | Amid the coronavirus crisis Railways had suspended all passenger services from March till May 3. During a web conference on July 28, Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said that the Indian Railways expects to incur revenue loss of up to Rs 35,000 from passenger train segment during the FY21 due to a fallout of train travel following the restriction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Education Sector | The pandemic has disrupted the education sector as people are forced to stay at home. The schools and colleges remain closed ever since the nationwide lockdown was imposed. Many children are struggling to keep up with the challenges of online classes.
Impact on Street Vendors | Livelihoods of street vendors which depend on being in public places have been hit hard by the unprecedented lockdown.