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Six months since lockdown: From lives lost to economic cost, the price India paid

Updated : 2020-09-23 17:19:45

It’s been exactly six months since India went into a lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak which hit the nation in March. While the COVID-19-induced lockdown is being lifted in a phased manner across states, and businesses and economic activities are crawling towards recovery, several services including the passenger trains and international flights except the special operations continue to remain prohibited. The measures, said to be among the strictest, may have helped in dealing with the sudden crisis, the losses, however, have been humongous in the last six months. Here’s a look at what India has lost in the last six months:

Lives lost: While India’s COVID death rate has been among the lowest, more than 85,000 people have succumbed to the virus, a number massive in itself. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)
Lives lost: While India’s COVID death rate has been among the lowest, more than 85,000 people have succumbed to the virus, a number massive in itself. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)
Collateral damage: While India's COVID-19 death rate has remained low, what's worrisome is that the number of people dying as ‘collateral damage’ is on the rise, at least going by the individual news reports. The examples of such cases are suicides out of COVID fear and stigma, suicides due to increased work pressure, suicides due to job losses, deaths due to negligence in handling COVID as well as non-COVID patients, deaths due to consumption of sanitizer among others.
Collateral damage: While India's COVID-19 death rate has remained low, what's worrisome is that the number of people dying as ‘collateral damage’ is on the rise, at least going by the individual news reports. The examples of such cases are suicides out of COVID fear and stigma, suicides due to increased work pressure, suicides due to job losses, deaths due to negligence in handling COVID as well as non-COVID patients, deaths due to consumption of sanitizer among others.
GDP contraction: India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 – April to July, when the lockdown was in full swing -- contracted by 23.9 percent. CEA Krishnamurthy Subramanian said that it will be difficult to recover from the recent economic contraction over the short term though the country is staring at a v-shaped recovery.
GDP contraction: India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 – April to July, when the lockdown was in full swing -- contracted by 23.9 percent. CEA Krishnamurthy Subramanian said that it will be difficult to recover from the recent economic contraction over the short term though the country is staring at a v-shaped recovery. "V-shaped recovery but maybe a distorted V-shape recovery where the recovery slope may not be the same as the steep fall,” he said.
Jobs lost: Almost six million white-collar workers lost their jobs between May and August amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the CMIE said. These include engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants, and analysts, among others. CMIE CEO Mahesh Vyas said, “Employment of these professionally qualified white-collar workers fell steeply to 12.2 million during the wave of May-August 2020. This is the lowest employment of these professionals since 2016. All the gains made in their employment over the past four years were washed away during the lockdown.
Jobs lost: Almost six million white-collar workers lost their jobs between May and August amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the CMIE said. These include engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants, and analysts, among others. CMIE CEO Mahesh Vyas said, “Employment of these professionally qualified white-collar workers fell steeply to 12.2 million during the wave of May-August 2020. This is the lowest employment of these professionals since 2016. All the gains made in their employment over the past four years were washed away during the lockdown."
Income loss for poor: An analysis done by Scroll in June showed that “the incomes lost by vulnerable sections of India’s workforce during the two months of the lockdown would amount to as much as Rs 4 lakh crores, or nearly 2% of the country’s annual gross domestic product.” (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Income loss for poor: An analysis done by Scroll in June showed that “the incomes lost by vulnerable sections of India’s workforce during the two months of the lockdown would amount to as much as Rs 4 lakh crores, or nearly 2% of the country’s annual gross domestic product.” (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Indian aviation revenue loss: The revenue of Indian carriers has reduced from Rs 25,517 crore during April-June 2019 to Rs 3,651 crore during April-June 2020, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed Rajya Sabha. It is to be noted that the airlines are still not functioning at full capacity. (Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)
Indian aviation revenue loss: The revenue of Indian carriers has reduced from Rs 25,517 crore during April-June 2019 to Rs 3,651 crore during April-June 2020, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed Rajya Sabha. It is to be noted that the airlines are still not functioning at full capacity. (Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)
Revenue loss for Metro: Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow, Chennai and Kochi Metro rail corporations reported a combined loss of almost Rs 2,000 crore due to suspension of services, Hardeep Puri informed Lok Sabha. While Delhi Metro suffered a loss of Rs 1,609 crore, the Bangalore Metro, Lucknow Metro, Chennai Metro and Kochi Metro lost Rs 170 crore, Rs 90 crore, Rs 80 crore and Rs 34.18 crore respectively.
Revenue loss for Metro: Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow, Chennai and Kochi Metro rail corporations reported a combined loss of almost Rs 2,000 crore due to suspension of services, Hardeep Puri informed Lok Sabha. While Delhi Metro suffered a loss of Rs 1,609 crore, the Bangalore Metro, Lucknow Metro, Chennai Metro and Kochi Metro lost Rs 170 crore, Rs 90 crore, Rs 80 crore and Rs 34.18 crore respectively.
Hotel industry data available:
Hotel industry data available: "Till June 30, the hospitality industry piled up around Rs 1.25 lakh crore losses. Many hotels and hospitality chains have expressed inability to continue operating partially or fully," Gurbaxish Kohli, Vice-President of the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India, told IANS.
Indian Railways' loss: The Indian Railways is expected to incur a revenue loss of up to Rs 35,000 crore from the passenger train services during FY21 as the movement of trains continues to be restricted.
Indian Railways' loss: The Indian Railways is expected to incur a revenue loss of up to Rs 35,000 crore from the passenger train services during FY21 as the movement of trains continues to be restricted.
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