‘Will Be 2-Yr-Long Battle’: Economist Shamika Ravi on COVID Crisis
Health economist Shamika Ravi speaks on India hitting the peak of COVID cases & the economic challenges before us.
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Video Producer: Hera Khan
While India's COVID-19 death toll has breached the grim one lakh-mark and the number of positive cases has surged past 66 lakh, renowned health economist Shamika Ravi talks to The Quint about India hitting the peak of COVID-19 cases and the economic challenges before us.
“Over the last two weeks, we’ve peaked. Despite high testing in India, daily new cases and deaths are declining.”Prof Shamika Ravi, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, India Centre
Explaining India's testing and tracing strategies, Ravi said that states like UP and Bihar, which have poor health infrastructure, have maintained test positivity rate below 5 percent. While COVID testing has been a struggle in states like Maharashtra, Telangana, and Karnataka.
According to her, one person at a time might not be the right strategy, India must do contact tracing and isolate superspreaders.
“No more national-level policies needed. We need zonal, district-level containment strategies... This will be an ongoing battle for the next 1.5-2 years.”Prof Shamika Ravi, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, India Centre
With months of lockdown and badly hit businesses, India's economy faces its worst slump in decades. Professor Ravi said, "Income shocks like this may turn into a humanitarian problem... Economic growth will have to be the focus while simultaneously dealing with COVID-19."
“(Economic) Recovery is very slow. Managing uncertainty and risk is the role of the government. The government must start spending money and the best spent is in infrastructure.”Prof Shamika Ravi, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, India Centre
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