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6 Ways The Covid -19 Is Making A Positive Impact
The novel coronavirus may be claiming victims all across the globe and keeping people sealed indoors due to the spiralling fear and mass confusion, it seems so have certain positive effects in India as well
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While the fear of the novel coronavirus pandemic is still spreading, air pollution and noise pollution are significantly decreasing. On the one hand, people are staying indoors to avoid chances of contamination. On the other hand, sightings of migratory birds, and endangered species of animals have become daily updates on social media. The novel coronavirus may be claiming victims all across the globe and keeping people sealed indoors due to the spiralling fear and mass confusion, it seems so have certain positive effects in India as well as abroad.
1. It’s a big opportunity for the Indian economy
The Reserve Bank of India and the government will have to act quickly as a united front. Think tax cuts, increased liquidity, forbearance to lenders, credit and credit-guarantee to SMEs, and lower interest rates.
The post-COVID-19 scenario for India does not look as grim as most people deem it to be according to leading economists of the country. Combined with a stimulus package of $100-120 billion, it will restore the purchasing power to the populace sooner than earlier deemed during the onset of the COVID-19 crises.
If India takes a leaf out of the pages of the US and Singapore economies and trusts the indigenous businesses, the economic recovery will be much sooner for the country.
2. Falling prices of fuel
As of the beginning of April, the state fuel retailers in Delhi sold around 17% less petrol and 25% less diesel in March 2020, as compared to March 2019.
This comes after the initiation of a country-wide lockdown, where all major transportation have been stopped to control and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Private vehicles on the roads is a rare sight as well. By the second week of March 2020, local prices of petrol and diesel were down by INR 4.55 and INR 4.70 per litre in Mumbai.
Economists expect diesel and petrol prices to drop further as crude oil prices hit a 13-month low in India. The crude oil prices in the US are falling steadily and the cost might average out at $43 per barrel in 2020 in contrast to $64 per barrel in 2019. A $1 drop in crude oil prices will correspond to a reduction in the country’s import bill by a sharp INR 2,900 crore. The falling rates of crude oil will leave more liquid cash in the hands of the vehicle owners by the end of 2020. However, economists also state that there is a good chance that the state and central governments will increase the duty on fuels to make up for the revenue deficits.
3. Crime incidents have become rarer
Crime rates in Delhi and Gurugram have plummeted in the last one month after the COVID-19 fear almost paralyzed the cities.
Delhi police have registered only 2,000 cases including petty theft, robbery and automobile theft since March 15, 2020. It represents a sharp 42% drop in crime rates in the capital of India. The drop in crime rates correspond to the reduction in the percentage of vehicle thefts, which has given some mental peace to owners of personal and commercial vehicles some mental peace in these tumultuous times. A similar drop in crime rates has also been witnessed across other major cities like Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai. The Prime Minister’s decision of a complete lockdown for 21-days and the vigilance by the local law enforcement has contributed significantly to the steep decline in the crime rate in several cities and towns.
4. The air is cleaner and the environment is greener
Greenhouse gas emissions and pollution levels across the country have fallen significantly. Half a year ago Delhi was gasping for a breath of fresh air saw “positively alpine” air quality a couple of days ago. Delhi is currently enjoying one of the lowest air pollution levels seen in the past decade or longer. The same is true for other metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Kolkata.
5. Boosting localism
Up until the beginning of 2020, it was all about internationalization and globalization of businesses. Right now, it's all about staying home, inquiring about the health of your neighbours, leaving home only to buy locally and boosting the local community.
This lockdown has inspired family-time and local-time among the millions of citizens living in the metros of the country. While people are rarely leaving their homes, if at all, they are spending more time on streaming platforms, playing board games with their family and spending quality time with their kids.
6. Wildlife is rejuvenating
Apart from sighting the occasional leopard on the streets of quasi-urban Maharashtra and spotting flocks of flamingos in Navi Mumbai, other wildlife including that of mountain goats, bison, wild cats, fishing cats, civets and birds.
Migratory birds are returning to lakes and water bodies they had once abandoned due to heavy pollution and human intervention.
Nature is healing while people restrict their movement outdoors and vehicles retreat to garages and depots.
Not everything about the novel coronavirus pandemic is abysmal as we can see from the above six instances.
Like every other pandemic, this too shall pass, but not without exacting its toll. In the meantime, self-isolation during this extended period of lockdown can become a tinsel bit more bearable when we manage to focus on the positive impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to India and the rest of the world!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.