Sixty three, 79, 81, 75, 65, 70 and 88. This is the number of new infections every day in India in the last six days.
From the numbers, it is clear that the number of Covid-19 infections in the country, while growing steadily, does not even follow geometric progress.
This could mean one of two things: the lack of widespread local testing represents a vague (and inaccurate) picture of the extent of the spread of the pandemic in India; or suppression measures have worked and the spread of the disease has not entered Phase-3 (when community transmission is transmitted) in India.
That holdup was reinforced Thursday by the release of a study by Imperial College in London, which showed that without any intervention by countries, seven billion people (almost the entire world population) would have infected Sars-CoV -2 viruses, killing nearly 40 million.
Returning to the unique advancement of numbers in India, no one can say for sure which of the two factors is responsible for this. Most of the new cases are people who do not clean up the airport scan (and subsequent testing confirms the infection), or the contacts of infected people identified by looking for contacts – such as a doctor at a mohale (neighborhood) clinic in Delhi’s crowded Dilshad Garden area that tested positive after the treatment of a woman subsequently confirmed to be suffering from Covid-19. His wife and child were tested positive afterwards. Efforts are being made to find about 1,169 people who may have been treated (or who visited the clinic at the same time).
As expected, Day 2 of India’s 21-day incarceration was smoother than Day 1, with people concluding that state-of-the-art products and services would be available, governments working to fix the problem and eliminating kinures, and local police departments beginning to believe that not everyone on the street has broken the rules. Local governments have also begun to address the issue of migrant workers who do not have a job, place of residence, food or way of returning home. Many are still returning home, but governments and nonprofits have set up kitchens to feed them, and police are no longer asking them to get off the roads.
Some of these people returning home may be pleased with the assistance packages announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday. Some will get the money in their hands; many will receive food. It is certain that some money either represents only a prerequisite for an existing benefit (cash transfer, for example, 86.9 million farmers) or will only start later (for example, an increase in wages in a job guarantee scheme, for example), but some are delivered and with strings without accessories, and like the best cash transfers, it will just magically appear in a customer’s bank accounts (see page 6).
But much more is needed, including an assistance and incentive package for individuals and businesses. The US and the UK are among the countries that have announced this (see page 6). In the case of the former, the size of the package is about 10% of the country’s GDP. Which is understandable. At the beginning of March, only about 200,000 people reported unemployment benefits in the United States; made 3.3 million on Thursday, the most in at least 50 years.
Governments and central banks around the world are waking up to the economic downfall of Covid-19 and moving to address it, sometimes with tools that would be considered unthinkable. India should do the same.
In the short term (at the very least) everyone must be Keynesian.
. (ToTranslate tags) coronavirus