Home हेल्थ How has the coronavirus caused a major dent in the economy of India

How has the coronavirus caused a major dent in the economy of India

by Meghashree Das

In a study published in the Hindustan Times earlier this month, it was reported that the India economy contracted to 5.7%, down from 6.3% in the same quarter a year ago. The government forecast for 5.1% growth this year is also being reconsidered given current infection rates of SARS COV, or coronavirus, as well as its negative effect on the Indian tourism industry and weakening imports of commodities such as oil and gold.”

Details:

In a study published in the Hindustan Times earlier this month, it was reported that the India economy contracted to 5.7%, down from 6.3% in the same quarter a year ago. The government forecast for 5.1% growth this year is also being reconsidered given current infection rates of SARS COV, or coronavirus, as well as its negative effect on the Indian tourism industry and weakening imports of commodities such as oil and gold.

A change in the output forecast for 2014 was also cited in a recent article by The Indian Express (April 20, 2014). The Union Budget was revised in the light of an earlier revision to GDP growth (from 7.9% to 5.7%). The change from a 7.9% projection to 5.7% is a significant decrease, and has been attributed to the outbreak of SARS COV.

This reduced growth rate will have an impact on the national budget for its current fiscal year, which ends in March 2015. The government said that it will continue with low taxes to promote growth; however it also warned that subsidies may have to be increased should revenue from other sources fall through. Also of note is that the World Bank recently revised India’s growth rate projection down to 5.4% for 2014; however this is still higher than the revised forecast of 5.1% from Indian sources.

Background:

The SARS COV outbreak in India began with the appearance of a second case in January 2014. The man, who was a healthcare professional, moved to Chennai to develop symptoms. He was later diagnosed with SARS COV and died in hospital in early February. Four more cases were detected (two in the same family) and their travel history revealed that all had either visited Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat within the past month. It was also discovered that an Indian Airlines flight from New Delhi to Chennai had been extremely busy around the time of one of those patients’ diagnoses.

At the time of the original article, it was not known whether these patients may have been exposed to the virus via a contaminated medical device or if they were infected in a hospital setting. The disease appears to be extremely contagious and its spread is believed to be sustained by direct contact between individuals, which can spread it easily. Also at issue is its effect on India’s tourism industry. Media sources report that the government has begun warning travelers about travel restrictions as a result of the outbreak and also has set up decontamination stations in Delhi and Mumbai airports for those visiting India from West Africa.

India’s economy contracted by 5.7% due to #SARS COV.

The situation has caused some foreigners to reconsider visiting the country. In early March, a number of British newspapers reported that tourist arrivals from the Philippines had been down significantly and that travelers to India were also reducing their visits in light of the outbreak’s severity. International travelers are being asked to limit their exposure to patients with SARS COV and HCoV-NL63, which are associated with a family of related but distinct viruses, for health safety reasons; however they appear not to be at risk for contracting SARS1.

As the outbreak is ongoing, no official source has released numbers regarding the seriousness of the infection.

Summary:

The SARS COV virus has caused India’s economy to contract 5.7% by reducing its tourism industry and imports of commodities such as oil and gold. The government is forecasting a growth rate of 5.1% for 2015, but it remains to be seen if this projection will change in light of ongoing infection rates. Health authorities have warned travelers travelling from countries where there is an ongoing outbreak not to visit patients with SARS COV or -NL63 for their own safety; however they also state that there is no risk associated with travelling to India itself from these areas.

Background:

The SARS COV outbreak in India has been ongoing since early 2014. The virus, which emerged as a new disease and is not being transmitted via birds or animals, is still believed to be confined to the country but it is unknown how long it will continue to be this way. The government has reported that so far there have been 77 cases of SARS COV; however that number could rise. At least half of these cases have either died or could die from the virus, although the overall death rate for people infected by SARS COV remains unclear.