The pressure of saving the Indian economy from sinking looms over India. The loss in revenues is burdening many states to consider restarting economic activities to start reviving the economy after a huge shock.
Delhi last week announced many relaxations and other states also plan to ease the lockdown restrictions to a huge extent. Other states also seem to be judging the situation based on the decline in the number of positive cases.
But that’s where the problem kicks in. India seems to be reporting the largest single day spike every day with each day overtaking the previous day in the coronavirus cases count.
India has now hit the 60,000 mark and it certainly isn’t looking to stop or slow down. Especially when the vaccine doesn’t seem to be coming our way anytime soon, it is a bigger risk.
An example of where lifting the lockdown soon could go wrong is in the case of Hokkaido, a Japanese province.
Unlike India’s reasons which mainly lie on the economic front for easing lockdown restrictions, Hokkaido relied purely on infection rates to lift lockdowns.
After three weeks under lockdown, authorities decided to reopen. But just 26 days later, a second wave of infections hit, and the local government was forced to reinstate restrictions.
By the time the second lockdown was implemented, Hokkaido had seen an 80% increase in confirmed cases reaching 279. As of May 5, the region had 879 cases.
Hence, if lockdown is lifted now, it will increase the possibilities of a large number of people getting infected. Considering India’s population size and the duration for the vaccines to develop, this leaves us in a dicey spot.
Hokkaido's restrictions were lifted too soon under pressure from businesses and with falling infection rates providing a false sense of security.
The talk of a second wave of the virus is indeed a reality and hence it is crucial to make calculated decisions, keeping in mind the consequences.
The opening of the lockdown could end up doing more harm to businesses than if lockdown remained in place.