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Indian economy in better shape compared to previous COVID-19 wave: CEA K V Subramanian

Beginning March this year, the second wave started rearing its head with a sudden jump in cases, forcing many states to go for localised restrictions to break the COVID-19 chain.

April 16, 2021 / 06:50 PM IST
Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V Subramanian

Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V Subramanian

The Indian economy is in a better shape as compared to the previous COVID-19 wave witnessed last year because of vaccines, Chief Economic Adviser K V Subramanian said on Friday.

Speaking at an event organised by e-commerce major Amazon, he said uncertainty is much lower this time but people should be cautious.

"There is a second wave therefore people should be careful about it and follow all regulations. But overall compared to previous episode, we are in a better shape because vaccine is out and vaccination drive is proceeding. So uncertainty is much lower," he said.

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Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, India went in for one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, leading to a massive contraction of about 24 per cent in GDP.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Also Read: Interview: CEA Subramanian says India better prepared for 2nd wave of Covid, defends vaccine export

Beginning March this year, the second wave started rearing its head with a sudden jump in cases, forcing many states to go for localised restrictions to break the COVID-19 chain.

India added a record 2,17,353 new coronavirus infections in a day, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,42,91,917, while active cases surpassed the 15-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

This is the second consecutive day that the country has reported over two lakh cases.

Subramanian further said "one key thing that stood out during this pandemic is the rollout of e-commerce and digitisation, something that India has embraced."

As many as 800 million people were provided essential supplies through the public distribution system and cash transfer through the Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile (JAM) in a seamless manner with a click of button, while most advanced countries like the US provided financial support to its citizens by issue of cheques implemented over 2 months, he added.

"I think Indian economy is really equipped very well to usher in the significant growth that is happening in e-commerce," he said.

He also suggested that MSMEs should embrace technology and invest in innovation for growth of their businesses.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
first published: Apr 16, 2021 06:50 pm

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