Is the government doing enough to handle the COVID-19 crisis?
While there are multiple actions that the government is already taking to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, like enhancing testing facilities, quarantining the patients, creating capacity with medical facilities, isolating red zones of infection, monitoring areas through CCTV and police patrol and so on, much more can be done.
Since the vaccine is still at least nine-months away, testing facilities can be provided where people can drive-in and get themselves tested, testing kit production should be ramped up so that these kits are available in grocery stores too, PPE suits production needs to be enhanced so that they are available aplenty not only health workers and essential medics but also others healthcare practitioners like dentists, ENT specialists and such others. Further, they should also be available for beauticians, hairdressers, among others.
A financial package of Rs 1.7 trillion has already been announced for the economic weaker sections. Another one is in the works for business and industry. The US has announced $2.3 trillion, while European Union has announced $500 billion in terms of relief packages. The expectations in India are ranging from 1 per cent to 5 per cent of GDP. Bengaluru-based real estate and hospitality corporate, Brigade Group’s Chairman & Managing Director MR Jaishankar emphasised to Construction World magazine over a video interview, the need for India to extend the amount of economic aid to up to 5 per cent of GDP. Whatever is the current largesse announced, there will be need for a further injection as the pandemic impact plays out.
India will not emerge unscathed, for sure, but our leadership can minimise the adverse impact.
About the Author: A chartered account by qualification, Pratap Padode is the founder of ASAPP Info Global Group and his passion for infrastructure over last 20 years is reflected in the innovative thought leadership through 10 specialised journals, conferences and awards organised in the fields of construction, infrastructure and engineering. CONSTRUCTION WORLD was the first journal that he began with over 20 years ago. Further, he is the Founder & Executive Director of FIRST (Foundation of Infrastructure Research Studies Training ), which was set up in 2003, that brings out research reports and newsletters on various infrastructure segments. He received the CIDC Vishwakarma Award 2010 for his research in the construction sector. Since early 2014, he has been promoting the cause of smart cities in India and is now Founder & Executive Director of the Smart Cities Council India.