A recovery interrupted

This first of a two-part essay assesses the emerging economic fallout of the second wave

lockdown, flyover, coronavirus, covid-19

Sajjid Chinoy
After a very challenging two months, India’s second wave appears to have peaked, with new cases and the positivity rate trending down in recent days. But the national Reproduction Factor has fallen below 1 not per chance or the culmination of some natural cycle, but instead by the progressive application of restrictions across states to reduce mobility and slow the virus’ spread. Google mobility, for instance, is down more than 40 per cent since the start of April and currently at levels seen a year ago, when the national lockdown was in effect. This dynamic is also visible in the cross-section: states that forced down mobility more strongly have, in general, also seen a larger drop in positivity rates. 

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First Published: May 23 2021 | 9:45 PM IST

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