A thermal screeening device checks passengers arriving in India from China including Hong Kong in view of outbreak of Novel coronavirus (CoV) in China | PTI
A file photo of a thermal screeening device checking passengers arriving in India from China in view of the coronavius outbreak | PTI
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New Delhi: Over 41 per cent Indians are “cautious” about making travel plans this summer due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus that has killed 1,868 people in China so far, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles.

The survey also showed that 19 per cent of businesses in India are going through a supply disruption and 26 per cent experiencing a slowdown in demand.

LocalCircles, a community social media platform, conducted the survey on more than 40,000 people who were asked they thought about the deadly disease, and how it affected their travel plans and businesses.

Of the over 40,000 respondents, 39 per cent were women and 61 per cent were men. The survey was conducted in tier 1, 2 and 3 cities of India.

Also read: Why Indian students will want to study medicine in China despite coronavirus

Travel plans

Many countries have issued travel advisories and restrictions on travel to and from China, which is going to affect the travel plans of people in the upcoming months.

Nearly 10 per cent people in the survey said they had made bookings but might cancel them depending on the situation. Another 31 per cent maintained they would make bookings on the basis of how the situation develops in the next couple of months.

About 53 per cent people were of the view that passengers arriving from China are not screened adequately, while 15 per cent said they had evidence to prove that screening at airports was being done effectively.

At least 70 per cent said the government should track the health of those who have arrived from China in the last 30 days, with 9 per cent saying the government should issue restrictions or guidelines for public places such as restaurants, theatres, malls, airports and railway stations.

Ten per cent people also said all hospitals, both public and private, should be sensitised so that individuals with symptoms are quarantined, said the survey.

Impact on businesses

When asked about the impact of the outbreak on startups and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), 45 per cent respondents said they don’t see an effect on their businesses. However, 10 per cent said they could foresee a lower demand.

Indian businesses import large quantities of raw material from China. Coronavirus has restricted trade movement to and from the neighbouring country that might impact the manufacturing units in India that are heavily dependent on imports from China.

The survey finally concluded that 19 per cent of businesses were going through a supply disruption and 26 per cent experiencing a slowdown in demand.

India offers helping hand to China

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to Chinese President Xi Jinping, offering a helping hand to tackle the outbreak. To help Chinese medical workers, India intends to send surgical gloves, disposable masks, surgical suits and protective facial screens etc.

Referring to PM Modi’s gesture, 40 respondents in the survey said India should “exhibit world leadership by ramping up production and increasing exports”, while 43 per cent said India should increase production so that a “buffer stock is maintained” in case of a surge in domestic demand.

Also read: Coronavirus’s effect on tourism will carry into 2021, experts say


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