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US President Donald Trump sounded like a complete chump when he announced two weeks ago that he hoped to get the US economy “opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”

Well, Easter is just a few days away, but with Covid-19-related infections heading towards the 400,000-mark and deaths towards 12,000, Trump clearly seems like a heartless person, uncaring about the sufferings of his people.

However, while Trump may be wrong about his impractical deadline to revive economic activity in the US by Easter, there cannot be two opinions that a continuing decline in jobs and growth will have a huge impact on health and survival of the weak. The lockdown, prescribed as a prophylactic to reduce the loss of lives, will end up destroying both livelihoods and lives.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing intense pressure from many state chief ministers and his health bureaucracy to extend the lockdown beyond the midnight of 14-15 April. By the time decision time comes, Covid-19 infections will be topping 10,000 in India, and may continue to double in the week after that. The temptation to extend the lockdown will be high. He should resist it.

With the unemployment rate now surging in the wake of the lockdown — the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates unemployment at 23.4 per cent, and 30.9 per cent in urban areas — arguments in favour of extending the lockdown beyond 15 April can be rebutted.

To be sure, there is no case for an abrupt end to the lockdown, and it must be wound down in phases keeping both Covid-19 hotspots and economic needs in balance. 15 April is when the government must consider ways to wind down the lockdown. Modi must reject that idea that the lockdown needs to be extended, except in the worst affected Covid-19 areas.


Also read: India lost more jobs due to coronavirus lockdown than US did during Depression


Here’s why.

First, while the advice of the health establishment cannot be dismissed lightly, the political demands from states for extensions are partly self-serving. Politicians love a pandemic for many reasons, and the main one is that they get to play benevolent uncles to the masses by doling out this freebie or that.

Additionally, a lockdown shifts unprecedented power to the bureaucracy and law enforcement agencies, which makes politicians feel safer on their political perches.

So, while some arguments in favour of extending the lockdown may sound logical, when the idea is being pushed by politicians from all parties, we have to discount their views. Not just Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states, but even non-BJP ones like Telangana and Chhattisgarh are calling for extension. This itself should raise some red flags.

Second, when businesses go kaput, barring the very well-endowed ones, they take many other businesses down with them, and the jobs they are currently providing may be lost forever.

It is easy to say that the government and banks must provide the necessary funding to keep them afloat. But at a time when many small and medium businesses are anyway reeling under the pre-Covid slowdown, the task of keeping them afloat is getting to be tougher than ever.

When businesses go under for a long period of time, it is kinder to let them sink than keep them on ventilators forever. To rescue viable businesses, the country-wide lockdown period has to be ended on 15 April. Only then will the financial support provided to firms will prove useful.


Also read: What if coronavirus crisis had hit India under Manmohan Singh, not Modi


Third, any extended lockdown means employers will start substituting humans with machines and automation. The longer the lockdown, the faster the replacement of labour with technology solutions. This has been demonstrated repeatedly in the flexible labour markets of the US, where every recession has ended with fewer jobs on board even after the recession ends.

In India, where the organised sector is small relative to the informal sector, job and wage flexibility is more in the latter. This means small and medium businesses — our main job creators — will shed jobs faster to stay afloat. Businessmen are already wary about an extension of the lockdown, and they should be heard first.

The domestic household jobs sector — which employs millions at flexible pay structures — may also shrink. Jobs currently done by maids in homes and car-owners who employ drivers will discover that they can get along with dish-washers, floor-cleaning robots and self-driving.

In any event, if work-from-home gathers steam, who needs chauffeurs? The longer the lockdown, the lower the chances of domestic workers obtaining re-employment at the old wages.

Unfortunately, the subliminal message delivered to all employers, whether in the formal, informal or domestic sectors, is that workers can be a source of infection. They are the reason why offices have to be closed, and maids sent away from gated colonies.

Will this subliminal message not result in everyone reducing employment if and when they can? Covid is converting a useful worker into a source of personal and organisational risk.

Fourth, labour attitudes to work also change when unemployment becomes structural. It is a well-accepted reality that when a worker is without a job for a long period of time, he stops looking for work. This is why in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation, when people stopped looking for jobs, the unemployment rate actually fell, according to the CMIE unemployment report of January-April 2017.

A prolonged Covid lockdown will make our structural unemployment worse than ever. Pressure on the state to keep giving incomes without delivering jobs will increase. Social unrest will become endemic after the pandemic.


Also read: Why Indian banks could make the Covid-19 economic crisis only worse


Fifth, even the health arguments weaken on closer examination. Efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ of infections sound logical in the early stages of the pandemic, but here’s the reality check: there is always a chance of a second wave of infections.

Singapore is having a second lockdown as local infections rise. In Japan, a state of emergency is being declared to avoid another debilitating lockdown. Since vaccines and cures are at least a year-and-a-half away, the best way to keep infections down for such a long period of time may not be lockdowns.

Modi must think hard before listening to political advice on extending the lockdown in the name of saving people from death. There are some cures worse than the disease, and that disease is called destroying livelihoods to protect lives. Without livelihoods, life itself matters less.

Just as the right antidote to sickness is a healthy body, the right antidote to Covid-19 in the medium term is a healthy economy.

Jagannathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. Views are personal.

The article was first published on Swarajya website.

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95 Comments Share Your Views

95 COMMENTS

  1. Not only should the lock-down be lifted, so should social distancing orders, which are pointless, as the virus can survive elsewhere, not just in saliva or breath. India has a relatively YOUNG population and low levels of infection. Covid19 is fatal mostly to older people with co-morbidities. There is no crisis here, except the one we are manufacturing with our reckless and dangerous remedies.
    If the true rate of infection, rather than just confirmed cases, were known .and if the death figures were not being manipulated and were accurate, we would probably find a mortality rate closer to the seasonal flu than to something like Ebola.
    As it stands, a recent study out of Germany puts the mortality rate at 0.3 or thereabouts, which is only slightly worse than the seasonal flu. The flu, by the way, has killed many more tens of thousands of people so far, without equivalent catastrophizing.
    Government never lets a good crisis to to waste. It uses it to grab more money and power from people. Which bureaucrat or politician would turn down boat-loads of central government money and the opportunity for grandstanding and political patronage?
    Bah humbug to the self-styled experts too.
    W.H.O is funded preponderantly by Bill Gates, whose philanthropy is adulterated with poisonous self-interest and whose polio vaccine campaigns in India and elsewhere have left huge numbers of children dead from a mysterious ailment resembling nothing more than polio. Mandatory shots laced with sterility drugs is the agenda of the vaccine mafia. Gates has spoken approvingly of reducing the population and is affiliated with Planned Parenthood, with its racist and eugenicist history.
    Let us be wise and follow Sweden, which is allowing its citizens to develop herd immunity by carrying on with life as usual, with some precautions for the elderly and immune-compromised.
    A robust economy gives robust livelihoods that allow people to get the nutrition, exercise, and sleep necessary for developing strong immune systems. Vitamins A, C, and D consumed as supplements as well as in the diet; plenty of water, sleep, social support (not isolation);,megadoses of intravenous Vitamin C, Zinc, and hydroxychloroquine (or a nutraceutical equivalent) for those who fall sick; and careful hand-washing, cleaning, and general hygiene:- these are the answers to Covid-19, not economic self-immolation.
    A penniless man cannot eat except as the recipient of charity…and who will give the charity if everyone becomes penniless? Remember, government can milk the private sector only so long as that cow is alive and healthy.
    Ask yourself – who would profit from the economic destruction of India and the replacement of millions of small businesses and casual workers with online firms and robots? The answer is – fintech, social media, big data, the spy agencies, all of which are controlled by the global banking elites and their allies in every country.
    Indians – do not be fooled. Go back to work and turn of the mainstream media.

  2. @PRINT I am pretty sure that my last comment will be moderated out and it should be for the language used and the personal attack on the author. I still wrote it to make a POINT to YOU.

    This article is a great example of how to shift the overton window by putting extreme views – one does NOT expect the PRINT to engage like this, it invalidates your established positions.

    Thanks

  3. A fundamental value of ethical behavior is non-suffering, or well being of others. So YOU, Mr. Let-Some-Die, YOU FIRST (or offer a dear loved one to die FIRST) , before you advocate anyone else to die for no justifiable reason.

    This epidemic is not a hypothesis of the thought experiment, You JackA*S, that you undertook in the warm afterglow of that scotch you were sipping the other evening.

    People like this author just make me feel sick to stomach. Where are the pitchforks and torches when you need them …

  4. Brilliant article. Very well analysed. Greater urbanisation has necessitated the need to keep economic activity always running. Else you’ll have an unmanageable situation at hand.
    I’m seeing at close quarters how bureaucracy doesn’t want to let go of its unbridled powers they are enjoying currently. If Modi is a true leader, he must see through this. I’d like to call this “the great Corona Scam”.
    If one starts a counter on any one illness or phenomenon and gives it so much social media presence and govt support, it will appear to be a disaster. That’s what has happened with Corona.
    Let India start a counter on births , the drain it causes on resources and then see what panic it creates!

  5. The article is not well thought of. Even in this flood of confusing flow of information, one thing is crystal clear. Social distancing is the only method to stop it’s spread. It’s also equally clear that in a country like India you can’t enforce it with best of your efforts. Obviously lifting of lockdown means more deaths. The proponents of lifting lockdown tacitly accept that, but avoid explicit confession that they are ready for killing people for the sake of “so called economy”
    The worst thing which can happen with lockdown is that a middle class man will become poor but at least he will survive. I don’t think anybody would choose to die.
    As regards poor, India is in a position that we can sustain them by feeding through our public distribution system. At least nobody would die of hunger if as a society we are determined to ensure that.
    Come what may, we must not let go of the principal that “each life is precious”

  6. Lockdown should be lifted in places where their are no cases. Am from Nagaland. Currently we have Zero Cases. Lockdown is not the solution. The best solution will be to stop people from entering Nagaland, and Nagaland people shouldn’t be allowed to go out as well. This will be much better.

    • Economy and pandemic have to be kept in two different bowls before mixing. The writer is very persistent and biased in approach. Only seeing the one side of the coin. Lock down is the only solution at the moment to curb the pandemic when india is not sound in medical facilities. Developed countries Germany, Singapore, Australia all are using lockdown and worlmfrok home as the plausible solution for the situation currently even when they are not crowded as jndia
      What happened to Spain and Italy are seen by world they adopted lock down later.
      Now post the lock down a strategy to release it in phases manner is to be looked into.
      Economy can be revived by various measures but you need to understand financial crisis and life threatening crisis.

    • I m Doctor (intensivist ) , world have only one option

      Specially india LOCKDOWN & Social distancing , otherwise …………
      Economy can be revived but not life ,

  7. The Authors think that Lock down would give extra Power to Police & Politicians which shows his leftist views. This is sheer madness to think. Look at The Print or other Social medias,there will be 2-3 articles every day advising Govt what to do & not to do & they deadly contradict each other. I have no idea why they become Specialist of Economics. Why the Authors who have Journalism as their Speciality turn as world renowned Economist. ? Beside Journalist, former RBI Governor Rajan,Former FM PC also gives unpractical, unsolicited free advices. Mr Jagannath says, PM should not be under Pressure from CM of various States who are advocating continuation of Lock down. PM will take advice from all State CMs,views of Opposition party Leads,his advisory Committee & Council of Ministers & take appropriate decision. He need not implement falthoo idiotic advice of Mr jagannathan ..

  8. “Chump” means a foolish or easily deceived person. US President Trump did not win a lottery to become the most powerful man in the world nor did he make the virus but he is giving his people, everyone cash due to lock down, not cooked food. What would you prefer… Govt cooked food or cash? Govt can give cash to everyone just the way they make everyone vote.. How many people will our govt. give cooked food and how many times? Before the lock down, the govt., like other western countries, should have taxed the people with income to give cash to the poor. Western Countries can do the lock down better because they always did that. Now, the majority of Indians who live hand to mouth, have already been pushed off the border and are not in at all good shape. Lock down is required and the whole Country needs to work as a team as every bodies contribution counts. And in a team, playing conditions and gear must be the same for all. Right now, rich people want the lock down because they have enough and more which they will not share while also they want the poor to stay at home and suffer without cash. The govt. should enforce lock down for as long as required after the equal distribution of cash to all the needy citizens. The sad part is that the rich do not really think of the poor and they pretend like they dont really have an insight.

  9. Most important thing is to be alive first.
    Lockdown must be extended irrespective of any economic regression or unemployment…
    I full support extension of lockdown.
    I also strongly propose the strictest of strict action plan for the Jamati chaps who are solely responsible for the present situation in India.

  10. If lock down is lifted after 14th that will be disastrous.even with lock down,every day the number of patients are increasing by 700-800 people.if there will be no lock down the number will increase by 7000-8000.what will happen then in this county of 130 cr people.we dont have any advanced medical infrastructure like america or italy.we wont be able to provide bed or medicine for 80% the patients.people will die everywhere.and the number of the deads will be in crores.what shall we do then with a revived economy? Will money be able to bring back the dead? The needy people should be provided with food materials and essentials by the govt.they must be saved.but the extension of lock down is absolutely necessary in order to save the country. The above article seems to be written by a person who cares more for money than human life.

    • thousands of peoples who is working on daily wages are surviving and dieing because of lockdown not a single tv channels will show this reality because they are piad or corrupted
      simply if you have money u should taking rest in your homes if you don’t have money to take one time meals you should go to work.

  11. If lock down is lifted after 14th that will be disastrous.even with lock down,every day the number of patients are increasing by 700-800 people.if there will be no lock down the number will increase by 7000-8000.what will happen then in this county of 130 cr people.we dont have any advanced medical infrastructure like america or italy.we wont be able to provide bed or medicine for 80% the patients.people will die everywhere.and the number of the deads will be in crores.what shall we do then with a revived economy? Will money be able to bring back the dead? The needy people should be provided with food materials and essentials by the govt.they must be saved.but the extension of lock down is absolutely necessary in order to save the country. The above article seems to be written by a person who cares more for money than human life.

  12. I support writer view , he is not against lockdown ,he just want there should be no lockdown where coronavirus case is zero or below 5 or no +ve case from last 14 days . Those who supporting lockdown think of poor ,daily wager , govt providing 5 kg rice , Dal ,oil etc ..is it sufficient to run a family ?? Think of poor who dnt hv money to buy food now .. those who supporting lockdown ,will u people providing them food ? No…here just barking becoz u hv food ,money at home ,you HV all type of entertainment media at home ,so enjoying life ..but daily wager people crying ,suffering …pls think of them .

    • Please observe that the states with the least number of covid infected patients are the states with the least infrastructural facilities and the poorest healthcares. If these states have to discontinue the lockdown and if, god forbid, people get infected there then, there is no way their lives would be saved in such poor hospitals.

  13. Disappointing and poorly crafted and articulated article.The author may have given his best arguments against lockdown but are not convincing…he apparently driven by the thought of building a counter narrative against the lockdown is missing critical components in his opinion. He has not envisioned the scenarios that may develop if the lockdown is lifted.Not every decision is motivated by hidden agendas..the government and administration is facing an unprecedented challenge where even the well endowed developed nations are failing and the unlocking may risk a devastating and overwhelming situation both socially and economically with long term repercussions….the lockdown along with targeted measures shall minimize the damage…the situation is like peeling onion , its grim, evolving and uncertain …so our measures have to see the moving picture and change with time…an interesting attempt but disappointing..

  14. to hell with economy and unemployment!! if we die bcuz of this disease after community transmission then who the hell will look after econony?? life is what all matters. if theres no point in saving life then there’s no concern for saving economy. lockdown must be extended. screw all the greed for money now,think how to be alive. do not get infect urself,do not infect others.

  15. I think the Writer is a bloody fool economy can be revived but if hundreds of lives are gone then what Such stupid people should be discouraged from writing such articles. If we don’t take the precautions now then we will follow the US and Italy. As such hospitals are being isolated in Mumbai , Doctors are dying. The people affected in India are increasing day by day. If the curve flattens then yes we should open the lockdown. But another 15 to 21 days of Strict lockdown is necessary.

  16. While I appreciate your concerns over the poor state of economy which is going to further worsen if the lockdown is extended, you will also have to keep in mind the poor state of our medical infrastructure. India has done incredibly well to keep the numbers under control, with unfortunate incidence of Jamat happening which has increased to the numbers to current levels. Since Covid 19 has a community based spread, you will have to consider what happens when scores of people get infected. People travel in Metro trains, local trains, buses, go to crowded markets, places of worship, all of these will become hotspots for the disease to spread at an unimaginable speed and once that happens our economy will be back on it’s feet which lack of medical infrastructure.
    Also due to limited testing we might not have the correct data and hence relaxing the lockdown even in a structured manner from 15 April might cause more harm that good. Compared to most European nations we have a relative young population and I believe once India becomes Corona free, we will stand up and get the economy back on track.

  17. Poor people are starving unable to buy essentials without earning.

    India has more deaths due to TB, dengue and starvation every year compared to world death count of Covid.

    Closing economic activity is cruel to poor who are already suffering , but ok for middle and upper class with savings to survive.

    Provision for shelter and food for poor are not adequate and many are unable to get them due to bureaucratic slowness.

    People writing here about extending lockdown are only thinking about there own safety.

    India has bigger problems than covid.

  18. Poor people are starving unable to buy essentials without earning.

    India has more deaths due to TB, dengue and starvation every year compared to world death count of Covid.

    Closing economic activity is cruel to poor who are already suffering , but ok for middle and upper class with savings to survive.

    Provision for shelter and food for poor are not adequate and many are unable to get them due to bureaucratic slowness.

    People writing here about extending lockdown are only thinking about there own safety.

    • So let lift the lockdown and spread the Covid 19 to the region where there are zero cases. Do you think the people around the country are resided in Urban? Rural area is mot affected because of the amid lockdown and seal of various districts in the states. Although considering the economy, there is not powerful evidence that without the lockdown, the economy will rise to the top! A dumbass explanation should be stopped right here and right now.

      • I have not eaten for last 3 days, surviving on water. I have heard that government is distributing food and ration, but I have not received any help till now, cannot go out to work due to lock down. Can you please help me with some money so that I can buy food?
        I support lock down and for the good of humanity I would like to stay indoor. But please help me for the sake of humanity too… or am I excluded to be called human?

  19. The article of Newbie, all gains attention first. This is all because you want attention. Don’t trick anyone like this to get views and earn by them.

  20. How can u say such a rutheless thing being a senior journo…..donnt u have any social responsibility towards ppl or it is the money that matters….kindly donnt give such a lowering remarks plz be responsible towards ppl not economy….economy can stabilise later what about life can it be stabilise if lost…..because of remarks like these ppl takes the disease casually and ppl jump the curfew and by that other r suffering…

    • Do you know how many people die of TB, pneumonia and other virulent diseases every year in India?

      If a few thousand people take precedence over the future of millions of people, we should be in permanent lockdown.

      As we speak, there are millions who are wondering about their next meal.

  21. I’m quite disheartened to know that people care more about money than they care about other people’s life. I think this article is written with the mentatlity that “This disease will never happen to me, hence why do i kill my earnings for the sake of dying strangers I dont even know”.
    I request you not to write such articles and think twice before you write something.

  22. I perceive, that, no one knows fully about Covid. We are learning about it based on experiences of other countries. That information is not fully helpful to control the disease. Some common sense logic like isolation and quarantine seem only resolves till date.
    With this background jumping to save economy ( ‘livelihood’ in the words of writer) and deciding about relative advantage seems impossible to judge.
    There is no other option known till date than to accept the loss to the economy. By accepting this, there is some chance of focussing on the eradication of epidemic. The handling of economy moving in to tailspin is disaster in waiting. But that needs to be kept waiting. In the meantime we must focus to hit hard, very very hard on the pandemic. It will possibly help. But lifting closedown and fighting pandemic simultaneously is beyond capacity of resources. It will make more losses to both livelihood and lives. That is the judgement that prevails today based on the knowledge we have about pandemic, till date.

  23. Are you guys gone mad can u buy life with money india economy is based on agriculture if we concentrate on that we can become self-sufficient economy . Whom you guys wish compete can eat money that’s just a paper which is worthless than humanity . Goverment can request agricultural workers to provide food without money when it become backrupt they will thats what we poor people are becoming poorer by having humanity …. lockdown is must and mandatory untill this pandamic ends

  24. To All

    Locdown is important but all peoples to glO where necesaary and not allowed to be in group not more than 4 with social distance. no mask charge spot penaulty.
    for travel or any activiities get letter from assigned authority for district/state movement.
    Transports need to maintain the social distance so increase 3 x TIMES higher charges. Then unwanted traveling will stop auto.atically.
    allow doméstic and international flights and stop 100% TOOURISM till that time become none. country allowed ONLY INDIANS AND NECESSARY diplomats and business peoples but under go medical clearance after Landing till then quarantine.
    Return indians checked and go to self quarantine who ever clear as per policy.
    country remain open for 8 hours for all activities who ever approved.
    all business (permansnent /temparory labour) community give social responsiblity and insure the workers and monitor.
    it must be followee next 6 months then our issue simply resolve.
    NOTE- ALL HOSPITALS TIME TO TAKE OVER BY GOVT OR MOVE ALL DOCTORS TO GOVENRMENT.
    Citizen

    • this plan works only in western countries. India doesn’t have the means and space to facilitate this strategy. it is densely populated, very little private space (imagine slums). self-quarrantine is an illusion. I came to India from Germany in the last day before the flights were shut. (I was the only non-endian in the plane because I wasn’t a German citizen and l was married to an Indian). bunch of these Indians came from high risk area and were running to India, just to bring the virus further. as soon as they arrived home, they enjoyed meeting up with their friends and relatives and enjoying things they miss in Europe. no-one stopped them and checked if they should be in self-quarrantine. hell, no-one stopped me, a blonde foreigner and checked my passport to see that l arrived from Germany only 3 days ago (and no-one knows l am also immune because l recovered from corona 5 weeks ago). that level of checking and restriction is impossible in a country this size with such a chaotic structure. I support the decision of not allowing Indians to come back home because they are the Troyan horses now. level of checking at the airport is literally temperature check and asking if you have symptoms. it is incredibly easy for the sick ones to be undetected – 20 percent are asymptomatic and 60 percent have a temperature not above 37 degrees. many have so mild symptoms that not even a doctor notices. but they still carry the virus and spread it around. so this health screenings can detect only severe cases (like me – l was mild but had 38.3 temp) but that is all. testing for the virus on the airport is impossible too, it is a long sequencing process. and expensive one. the only way l would allow it is making the airport hotels a qurrantine area and testing the people there. the ones who prove negative after two rounds of test with the 5 days difference can go home. the ones who are positive stay in the quarantine centre. this is the only way to control the virus from international flights. but it is economically not feasible. what we need is a full lockdown of at least 6 weeks. and then slowly restricted return to normal. all the experts say that. the only reason that people do not use the full lockdown is for the money.

  25. Well, I personally believe in extension of lockdown. Just imagine the fear, deaths and what not that could have happened and can still happen without lockdown. It was obviously an excellent article from economic point of view but right now our priority should be people’s health. Even you’ll be shattered if you loose someone while you’re trying to save economy. Government should totally take all necessary steps in order to prevent starvation and other factors that really are hard to ignore. Back to basics can kill a hell lot people which we can’t even imagine. Changes should be made gradually. As there is no cure yet, it’ll be good if we just take all necessary steps to prevent it.

  26. The writer’s views are highly unappreciated. It’s saving of peoples’ lives which the govt is safeguarding here. Nothing else should be more important than that.

    • Lol what about the millions who are struggling with no money, no food and no livelihood? Screw them to save some thousands eh?

      While you sit at home and type out this bs there are people out there scared hungry and hopeless, dying a slow death.

      People with salaried jobs are promoting extended lockdown while millions struggle daily. You will understand when you lose ypur job as more and more industries close down.

  27. If we let an uneducated person to write an article it would be exactly like this. This article reflects the opinion of a capitalist and nothing else. Without people there is no world in the first place. Don’t forget this and be prudent while expressing such views.

  28. The decision between economy and health of citizens is difficult to make. I am really thankful that an idiot like you isn’t there as a PM of the country. Otherwise, india would have been way ahead of US right now.
    People like you are dumb enough to understand that when situation arise like Italy or the US, economy would work well? We would have saved ourselves then.. correct?

    Economy is made by the people. If you work hard enough, you can bring it back. And it’s the case with the entire world.

    Also, regarding the fatality rate, though the count is small, ask them who have lost their loved ones of all age groups and without co-morbidity. What about the 14 month old kid of jamnagar? What about the average 30 40 old dying in india? Have you ever gone through the patient database yet for india? It’s there on one of the websites. Go and see for yourself. It doesn’t claim lives of just 60+ and co morbids. Don’t just pass on information widely published in news in your article.

    Also, look at people dying anywhere. In buses, trains, roads. Our economy would be boosted with people dying all of a sudden anywhere, right?!

    There is no politics anywhere. Everything isnt always bad. Bjp or non bjp ministers are just thinking about their state citizens. It’s difficult to be in their shoes and take these decisions.

    When all other countries and other country men are applauding India’s move, we Indians are all against it. Such fools like you!

    • You are a dumb fellow. What do you mean by working hard ! are you able to work 24 x 7 for the next 1 year, You crazy pig What will you do post 2 months lock down.will you beg on streets. What about the daily wage works. Have you helped any one of the needy till date.

    • What you said is absolutely right….
      I don’t know why few people pointing their finger towards economy ….where life’s are more important than lively hood…How can he praise trump who is
      utterly failed chaotic killing his own people..

  29. Amid the lockdown, people are roaming out. Not disclosing travel history yet. Unlike other countries, India is facing multiple problems like attack health care workers, policemen, commit fear suicides, social acceptability post recovery and what not. I have not heard such things happening in other countries. People spitting, throwing stones. We don’t have a mature country men to understand what’s good for themselves. How are these kind of guys supposed to follow social distancing norms post lockdown? Community response and discipline is important to curb the disease.

    Though the fatality rate may be low, do you have any idea how many people of co-morbidity are there in India?! Every other person has thyroid, diabetes, blood pressure etc. Healthcare is weak. India is way behind other countries since we haven’t tested widely.

    Few days back there was criticism on a 21 day lockdown. Today, you tell yes it was required otherwise it wud have spread much higher. For economy to function, you need people. Kindly go and read about spanish flu 1918. Though the technology has advanced, but we don’t have sufficient measures in place to take care of serious patients. What about when doctors policemen will be ill as well?

    Who will cure you? Herd immunity was something tried out in England. We are seeing the after effects there already. What could help right now is to extend lockdown and take this time to test extensively and isolate the sick from healthy to flatten the curve. Lifting lockdown at this time would only worsen the situation. Since DEMOCRATIC CITIZENS DON’T LISTEN TO ANYONE!

  30. Is the writer fool! Do one thing remove the lockdown,let billion infected and millions die and save your economy without even humans existing. You do one thing you get coronavirus then surely we will think about your opinion till then just shut up and don’t write such articles and please the print don’t publish them.

  31. Is the writer fool! Do one thing remove the lockdown,let billion infected and millions die and save your economy without even humans existing. You do one thing you get coronavirus then surely we will think about your opinion till then just shut up and don’t write such articles and please the print don’t publish them.
    A True indian

  32. Is the writer fool!Do one thing remove the lockdown,let billion infected and millions die and save your economy without even humans existing. You do one thing you get coronavirus then surely we will think about your opinion till then just shut up and don’t write such articles and please the print don’t publish them.
    A True indian

  33. Poorly written article I have ever seen. Accidently visited this page , But my prediction was right that you people don’t have any sense .

    • So you saying people lives comes second to economy. NOT A MODI BAKTH BTW have always opposed him but this is something the world facing epidemic

    • This jackass doesn’t know what’s even h happening. Sitting at home like a sucker he is telling this. Bastard come and see here you piece of crap

  34. There should be gradual lift up process for the lockdown. Places like cinema halls, malls, schools and colleges etc. where a lot of people come together should remain closed.

  35. You talk about the terror or replacement of manpower with automation . How do you propose to act if there is no manpower available at all because most of the race has been wiped due to the onslaught of this terrible disease?

    • According to a survey maximum no of death due to covid 19 is one million ND I think extension of lockdown will effect more worsen then this

      • And losing one million people will not affect economy? Lockdown hurts but the alternative of overloading the health sector will be worse. It hospital system (both public and private) could barely make do when there wasn’t a pandemic, if the corona infections shoot up uncontrollably it will collapse.

  36. Corona affect in India is majority aggrevated by Nizamuddin case and it is the mistake of establishment for which people and industry suffer with lockdown extension. Govt should use more scientific methods to track and contain than simple lockdown when things or not serious relevant to other countries. Partial liftdiwn with scientific approach can balance and simple pilitical descions are not the need of hour as panic results in economy and people health etc with extended full lockdown. Am sure our PM is capable of considering all aspects and not just ploitical suggestions.

  37. The writer of the above article must remember that :
    1) India’s population is running neck to neck with Chinese population and is the 2nd highest in the world and far far higher than the 3rd populated country and the other countries of the world.
    2) India’s health care, hospitals, medicines etc are not in any way comparable with even moderate economies like Singapore, Middle East etc. (Can’t even think of comparing with countries like USA, Germany, France etc.)
    3) What economy the writer is talking about when compared to the GDPs of USA, Germany, France etc ? The super-power and top nations of the world are under a lockdown when they consider life of their citizens more important than their big economy. As our great Hon’ Prime Minister NaMo himself announced that we must remember that the precious human lives are at risk if precautionery measures are not taken and that there is no known cure for the pandemic and there is reported a large number of loss of lives which is further increasing day by day in Italy, USA etc even when they have the worlds best hospitals and healthcare facilities!
    4) The writer must also remember that this pandemic is one such – which if people neglect the prescribed precautionary measures – which affects every citizen of a country from the poorest to even the head of state! If there is no lockdown during this pandemic and absence of any cure, this pandemic is bound to spread extremely rapidly in no time especially in India with such a huge population and with generally poor cleanliness & hygiene standards .
    The writer must try to understand that the precious human lives of not only the poor but the rich are also at stake if precautionery measures are not taken.

  38. The writer of the above article must remember that :
    1) India’s population is running neck to neck with Chinese population and is the 2nd highest in the world and far far higher than the 3rd populated country and the other countries of the world.
    2) India’s health care, hospitals, medicines etc are not in any way comparable with even moderate economies like Singapore, Middle East etc. (Can’t even think of comparing with countries like USA, Germany, France etc.)
    3) What economy the writer is talking about when compared to the GDPs of USA, Germany, France etc ? The super-power and top nations of the world are under a lockdown when they consider life of their citizens more important than their big economy. As our great Hon’ Prime Minister NaMo himself announced that we must remember that the precious human lives are at risk if precautionery measures are not taken and that there is no known cure for the pandemic and there is reported a large number of loss of lives which is further increasing day by day in Italy, USA etc even when they have the worlds best hospitals and healthcare facilities!
    4) The writer must also remember that this pandemic is one such – which if people neglect the prescribed precautionary measures – which affects every citizen of a country from the poorest to even the head of state! If there is no lockdown during this pandemic and absence of any cure, this pandemic is bound to spread extremely rapidly in no time especially in India with such a huge population and with generally poor cleanliness & hygiene standards .
    The writer must try to understand that the precious human lives of not only the poor but the rich are also at stake if precautionery measures are not taken.

  39. C’mon mate, do you really think that doctors know economy, or for that matter there’s a team of expert epidemiologist who knows how to shift matters to less worse. Truth is
    1. Number of people died from TB per month is way more than CoVID19 given the former have both prevention and cure
    2. People at south block or the whole block always read book, and the books says it have to be 100% gone…. A figure only the author knows why it’s been mentioned

    3. Do you really think that ‘medical expert’ have seen the country outside their bungalows, though the régime’s voice reported that they are ‘tracing down the Tabligh Chief’

    4. The people on the front page of newspaper 3 months ago for crimes not even perishable in hell are missing, even from the front of their house.

    5. We are at the brink of economical melt down anyway between 19 to 24 April,but then even some people at an economical symposium back in 2019 suggested that nothing have happened, the same group of geniuses who are advising the flags and staffs, no wonder even the brights are blind.
    6. Some people just began a pose service since no one’s ready to buy 250 voucher for a month’s subscription, let me advice, the ban won’t be lifted till his wallet gives up stuffing bills and bonds.

    Best of luck and be careful

  40. A very realistic issue raised.
    How long can the economy sustain the lock down?
    It is high time that the experts and economists put their heads to gather and start putting up models with different scenarios / assumptions, and possible solution for each model with a prediction of the hit that we all will have sustain.
    If the recession of the 30s is the end result, people should be prepared for it by explaining to them the facts that we are likely face in simple language.
    A lot the foregoing comments reveal how the situation could be turned into a catastrophy of unimaginable proportion.

  41. There is a point in arguing that lock down should be revoked in phased manner from 15th April itself.
    1 By this time governments of the all states know the hotspots of virus and only those hotspot should be kept under lock-down. If 400-500 districts of India are free from this pandemic ,the economic activities in those districts with suitable restrictions can /should be allowed. DM s /DC s should be empowered to issued orders to this effect keeping in view level of threat of emergence /re-emergence of pandemic .
    2 2 In other locations where there have cases of infections, the reasons thereof must be studied and considered. If it started due to arrival of persons from foreign countries ., that threat is not existing by now. If it was spread by the arrival of persons who belonging to Tabliqui jamaat etc , then it is known to every body in every city where these people are likely to found . In most of the cities and villages the communal segregation is reality , whether we accept it or not. So area to be put under maximum possible vigilance is known to civic authorities. Those areas can be checked fully for dreaded virus. The people over there can be assured that any measures for detection and control of pandemic are for their benefit and to save their lives only.

    3 Rich people do not like lock down because it has stopped them to get richer. The Poor do not like it because it is further pulling them in the well of poverty. The middle class has supported it, but it has started punching a big hole in their past savings and it has dawned on their mindspace that it is going to effect them very badly in post –corona period as many of them will lose jobs and growth opportunities till wheels of economy get pre-corona era motion. They too have lost patience.

    4 4 One more thing, which no one is writing , in most of the cities the behavior of the police has started resembling what it was during Indira G s political emergency. This is/ will cause a big loss of popularity for Modi Ji and BJP. Sign are ominous . Catch them.
    The experience obtained in three weeks should be enough to face the challenge of pandemic without lock down. .

  42. Lockdown cannot be lifted all of a sudden for the sake of improvement of economical status of our country. Economy will be at its place when people will be alive. If people die of disease then ultimately it will hamper economy after few days again, that will create more blunder. For the time being its better to extend the lockdown, have rice, pulses and other things just to survive. During these times it’s a huge loss to the economy of the country, however if lockdown will be lifted all of a sudden during such crucial time loss of lives will increase drastically.

  43. It will be a disaster in India if there is end of lock down on 14th April. It should be extended by another 21 days at least to phase off the curve. Who will bother about economy if there are no people?

  44. Very dangerous views expressed by someone who has absolutely zero idea about managing epidemics. If someone wants to have a real idea about this virus just speak to any doctor in any hospital not just those managing Corona patients. We doctors are a worried lot not just for our patients but also for our own life. And mind you I am yet to come across a single Corona patient ,still I fear for my own and my family’s life. European countries did let infection to spread in the hope of developing herd immunity and they paid dearly. Herd immunity will definitely develop but only after 2/3rd of population is affected. That means we are going to have affected individuals in billions and deaths in millions. Forget hospitals even our graveyards are not prepared to deal with that kind of load. Yes our economy is in ICU and there will be job loses due to lockdowns and this will lead to poor people dying of hunger. But if we let the situation to slip then the whole country will be in ICU or graveyard so any way there would be no one to give jobs or feed the poor. People are worried that our stock market has crashed so lot of them want lockdown to go immediately in the hope that they make some recovery
    Well I am no expert in economics but I am sure if about a millions or billions end up in hospitals then I don’t think there would be recovery in stock market instead we may actually have no stock exchanges or market’s to trade.
    After so many deaths European countries are seeing flattening of curve thanks to their excellent healthcare systems and delayed lockdown. But if we loosen we may not stand a chance after all lockdown is our only weapon . Doctor patient ratio in India is among the lowest in the world.
    Some people are living in fools paradise that this infection is killing only those with commorbities or old age. That was the narrative presented by china to whole world . Do you still believe in that narrative. Ok if you want stats the maximum number of people affected in India are mostly in working age group and not just old but even young are dieing. Yes the younger you are better chance you have of recovery but that’s no guarantee.
    I also would like to bring to note the situation prevelant in Italy. In Italy they have come to stage where they are no longer admitting people with commorbities or those who have less chance of survival. At present they are mostly admitting those who may not require a ventilator as they don’t have many. They have come to stage where they are giving video training to those specialties who have never intubated a patient and never worked on a ventilator as they are seriously short on critical care experts. You know what that means it simply means asking a bowler to do net practice as the team had already lost all batsmen in a test match. But in the game of cricket you will just loose a match or you may still get another innings but in real life you don’t have lifelines. If we let the lockdown go in India we will soon come to similar stage, infact earlier than these developed countries.

    Yes lockdowns are back in countries like Singapore where there is a second wave. But if we pull back this lockdown we may not even require a second wave. I am not saying that lockdown will ensure a complete recovery or no spread of infection but we will be able to delay the peak rise of infections so that our our hospitals are better able to manage it and we may stand a chance of maximum survival till some vaccine is developed which will eventually kill the spread of infection.

    Lastly Even if people like you succeed some how in pressuring government to not extend lockdown. Well we may be able to lift lockdown for say 4/5 days but will be forced to shift to lockdown again after all this is our only weapon, and yes this time it will be not a 2/3 weeks lockdown but a lockdown or even a curfew of 2/3 months the way European countries or Wuhan had.

    • I really support these views. Healthcare front is fighting this war and instead of being grateful, India is on a separate path.

      These kind of ppl who are taking this lightly. Its just coz of them the situation is out of hand. Those who didnt disclose travel history and attended functions, travelled in trains and disobeyed everything despite looking at other countries’ fate.

      I am constantly worried about my friends who are in healthcare. Their families are worried for them. Still they are so determined about just serving the patients. The ones who are pelting stones and asking them to move out, tomorrow you might have to rely on these guys to breathe.

      Theprint – there should be some kind of moderation in printing an article!

  45. You can’t save lives with hot air. More people will die of hunger than CoV. Since Modi has given up in the economy, so he needs new problems to justify his existence.

    • You could either save people from hunger and unemployment or from corona virus.

      How about saving them from hunger for few days and when these poor people die on streets just like people were dying in China, guys like you would come to attack the govt again!

      China thought about economy first. They knew abt the disease way back in November. Trump thought about economy too. England thought about herd community. Italy thought abt business first. They have a booming economy right now! Correct?

      Why don’t you think about going to the healthcare and work for the betterment and cure and service to those affected, rather than sitting and passing comments here!

  46. No conclusion can be drawn out of this. He just keep on repeating there will be more unemployment and all, but didn’t answer how human life is more important than employment

  47. An excellent article. Thought provoking.
    Power that be must heed the caution.
    Difficult as it may look in given circumstances to lift lockdown in one go but Economic evaluation is must .
    Poor and deprived in any case going to be the biggest sufferers.
    Analytical perspective.

    • How about when these poor die? Mumbai slum dharavi is already affected. Millions of migrant worker have taken the disease back home. Maids are getting tested positive. Beggars urchins too.
      Give your proposal on how to overcome the situation on the govt website where it’s seeking for suggestions and innovations.

      What are you doing to contribute to this situation?

  48. Modi is right in a way – there is going to be a pre-Corona and post-Corona virus era. I am afraid the old ways are going the way of the dinosaurs. Loss of jobs, social unrest and serious economic upheavals are going to be par for the course. The challenge will be to manage the aftermath without excessive taxation and doling out freebies but at the same time maintaining law and order so that the country does not slip into anarchy. People with marginal skills are going to be hit very hard. I am not sure any politician in India – atleast popularly elected politician – will have the skills and tools to tackle the socio-economic storm. This coming decade, I am afraid, is going to be unpleasant for all bar a few with wealth and influence.

  49. Why is print publishing all this articles?. No conclusion can be drawn from the author 5 points. Its like he collected the points which support his arguement.
    1. Why the state governments request for lockdown extension should be considered as red flag. All the state government have valid reason for their pov. I request the author to go through the consulting companies report before raising it as a red flag
    2. The author is worried about business going kaput and the related business closing. The COVID virus can infect 4 people and there is a good chance of mortality in person aged 65+. HUMAN LIFES ARE VALUABLE THAN BUSINESS
    3. Business substituting Humans with Robots. Request the author to visit few Indian industries and understand where does it stand in terms of automation.
    4. Baseless arguement
    5. It is better to use the tools which we have now. The author has no understanding of epidemics and the demand it will impose on the health infrastructure if left unchecked.

    Poorly written article

  50. Excellent professional write up. Need to lift lock down in phased manner paramount. Large unorganized work force viz farm labor, presswala , kabadi wala, rikshaw puller etc are suffering . Wheels of economy need to grind albeit at slow pace despite threat from virus.

  51. Economy as we are living is man made. The meaning and style of economy can be changed. Apart from humans, no other life on this planet is living the artificial life with artificial economy and artificial society and artificial food habits and diverse culture divided by religions, concepts. Take any other animal, they live by nature as designed by nature , except human beings. There is no need to jump back into same problems once again. Humanity should pause , think about all round welfare of the nature and the world and set new standards for sustainable and safe development.

  52. Lifting the lockdown after 14-Apr will spell disaster.

    Given very few have been tested, govt planning to increase testing is the key here, there may be much more discovered to be positive than there are now.

    Let’s get this right, it was really tough as it is for the governing bodies to put into force the lockdown in the first place, given millions are misplaced and locked, they’d be eager to go back to their destinations.

    How will that be controlled? How will police control millions moving around?

    A staggered unlocking should be considered ONLY after an extension of the current lock-down by atleast 2-3 weeks more, this will give a clear picture once more tests are done and people discovered to be positive are quarantined.

    The economy will suffer much more if this explodes at at a larger scale if the lock-down is lifted post 14th April.

    Govt will also get more time to work on risk mitigation planning.

    As for the economy, govt has to get back with a bang on more relief measures, cut govt expenditure, salary cuts, possibly cut down the interest paid on PPF/EPF/Bonds etc, kick in measures to help businesses self sustain by means of tax benefits and to the salaried employees too.

  53. A few facts about Carona need to be noted. 1- Corona virus is here to stay and is not going away from us 2.- There is no medicine for it as of now and hence, there is no specific treatment if one gets severely infected except ventilation support as a last measure 3- Vaccine may take up to a year to be ready 4- It is not a very fatal virus but it affects heavily people over 60 years and with some co-morbidity. 5- Number of persons affected may be more but actual number requiring hospitalization is very small and by now, we have the infrastructure to manage the load. 6- Since there is medicine nor vaccine, it is a good idea for people to get infected mildly and develop natural immunity. 7- Corona spread can be easily prevented by social distancing and care such as wearing mask, hand gloves, cleanliness etc. 8- India has relatively a much much smaller number of affected people as compared to other countries .

    Given these facts, we have used 21 day lock down period to effectively block the wide spread of Conrona as a one time measure . We now need to lift the lock down step by step in next 2 to 3 weeks. We must insists on social distancing and use masks, hand gloves, etc. We should have cluster approach in case of hot spots. We should not allow people over 60 to go out as of now. We should create awareness that every one is responsible for his safety and health by taking proper precautions and we should impose heavy fines on violaters.

    The usual politics will go on as those who warned Centre against lifting the lock down, want to hold Modi responsible for every death after 14th April! But Modi should give a clear strategy for post lock down period and put onus on everyone.

  54. India is not the US. Days after the $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package was approved, there is talk of another $ 1 trillion. That will add up to more than India’s GDP. 2. A controlled, staggered lifting of the lockdown should start from 15th April. Hotspots of infection will require harsh restrictions to be in place. The government knows better than anyone else that it cannot feed or send money transfers to half a billion Indians cooped up in their homes. The ILO fears 400 million Indians will sink back into poverty, erasing patient gains made over decades. This is a full blown war equivalent crisis. At the very least, these symbolic acts should stop.

    • Regardless of your views, Modi says saving your life has priority over economic considerations. Below is what is in the news today.

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the coronavirus embattled country’s priority was to save every life, in what could be seen as a virtual endorsement of the view seeking an extension of the 21-day national lockdown even at the cost of economic losses.

      “He (PM Modi) said that the priority of the government is saving each and every life,” said a release from the prime minister’s office.

  55. Two penny socialist economy will continue to be in shambles even after lifting the lockdown. Socialist Modi murdabad. Free market capitalism zindabad.

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