COVID – 19(Corona Virus) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China, and has since spread globally, resulting in the 2019–20 corona virus pandemic. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, sputum production, diarrhoea, sore throat, and loss of smell. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.
The story began unfolding in December 2019 with cases of pneumonia without an identifiable cause. One astute physician saw this and alerted his colleagues. He was reprimanded by the authorities for spreading fear, rather like ‘anti-national activity’ in contemporary Indian parlance. Soon they realised that the alarm was true. Among the first 41 cases, most were workers in, or had direct contact with, the Hunan Seafood Wholesale Market, where several species of wild-caught animals were stocked and sold. On December 31, health officials informed the WHO of the outbreak of a suspected zoonosis (vertebrate-to-human transmitted infectious disease). That market and all other similar markets nationally were closed the next day. On January 7, WHO was notified that the pathogen was a novel coronavirus. Soon Chinese scientists mapped its full genome sequence and gene sequence for primers needed for diagnostic tests and made these data publicly available. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses re-named it SARS-CoV-2 because of its close genetic similarity to the SARS coronavirus that had caused the SARS epidemic in 2002-03. Since amplification of infection is a function of time, the higher the number of cases at a time when laboratory testing was in full swing, the longer the virus had circulated in China as anthroponosis. The necessary numbers are just not available, which is a problem.
The total number of known coronavirus cases in India has crossed the 700-mark with over 20 cases being reported on Friday with the death toll due to Covid-19 at 17. At 88, India saw the highest rise in novel coronavirus cases in a single day on 26-03-2020. In Italy, 6203 new cases and 712 new deaths. Worldometer has contacted Piedmont officials directly and received confirmation that the number of deaths in the region is 499, 50 more than what mistakenly reported in the Protezione Civile’s bulletin today. This discrepancy was clearly due to a typing error by Protezione Civile, not to Piedmont’s number of new deaths (16 today) missing in the national report, as incorrectly stated by some media. After solving this discrepancy, we changed the official total number of deaths in Italy from 8,165 to 8,215 and, accordingly, the total number of cases from 80,539 to 80,589. The COVID – 19 has affected the GDP of the economies very severely. Due to sudden rapid increase in the virus cases, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has declared complete lockdown till 14th April, 2020. The groceries and pharmaceutical stores are at exception. Due to this lockdown, all the other business enterprises, educational institutes, companies, etc. are facing heavy loss.
GDP OF INDIAN ECONOMY
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth could fall below 5% in fiscal year 2021 (FY21), if policy action is not taken urgently, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Growth in the third quarter (October-December) slowed down to 4.7% and the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak is likely to pull it down further in the fourth quarter, said the industry body.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the formation of an economic response task force to help cope with the impact of the outbreak, which has not only disrupted supply chains from overseas, but is also now threatening to impact domestic production, as quarantine measures have restricted the movement of workers.
CII said the government should consider providing a strong fiscal stimulus to the extent of 1% of GDP, or ₹2 trillion, to the poor, which would help them financially and also spur consumer demand. It has also suggested removing a long-term capital gains tax of 10% and fixing the total dividend distribution tax at 25%.
The industry body has also urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to undertake an immediate repo rate reduction of 50 basis points along with a 50 basis points reduction in cash reserve ratio to ensure sufficient liquidity and cheaper funds.
CII also urged the central bank to consider relaxing the non-performing asset recognition norms from 90 days to 180 days till 30 September.
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Central banks globally are taking fiscal measures to mitigate the economic damage caused by the virus, said Niranjan Hiranandani, president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham). “India, being the fifth largest economy in the world, cannot be found lagging far behind in taking due rectifying actions in time. The time is then perfectly ripe for RBI to roll out monetary/ fiscal stimulus to protect business from going bankrupt,” he said. “These measures, implemented on an urgent basis, have the potential to prevent the grave economic crisis that is on the horizon. It is no longer about investors and business. This is about the economic health of the country. The time to take action is right now. We need implementation on a war footing if we are to save the Indian economy from tanking,” said the Assocham president. “March end is the most crucial period for all the companies to knock out the outstanding liabilities and achieve financial closure,” said Hiranandani. As much as 53% of Indian businesses have indicated a marked impact of Covid-19 on business operations, showed a Ficci survey. Around 42% of the respondents said that it could take up to three months for normalcy to return, added the survey.