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Indian economy is gradually recovering: IMF

Fiscal, monetary, and financial sector measures announced to date provided much-needed support to the economy, including businesses, agriculture, and vulnerable households, Rice said in response to a question on the IMF's assessment of India's economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

December 04, 2020 / 09:44 PM IST

India's economy, severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, is gradually recovering, the International Monetary Fund said on December 3.

India's economy recovered faster than expected in the September quarter as a pick-up in manufacturing helped GDP clock a lower contraction of 7.5 percent and held out hopes for further improvement on better consumer demand. "India has indeed been severely affected by the pandemic but is gradually recovering," IMF chief spokesperson Gerry Rice told reporters.

Fiscal, monetary, and financial sector measures announced to date provided much-needed support to the economy, including businesses, agriculture, and vulnerable households, Rice said in response to a question on the IMF's assessment of India's economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

"To further support growth, we believe the Indian authorities should prioritize swift implementation of the existing support programs and may need to consider expanding their scope, as warranted," Rice said.

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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.

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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.

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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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In her address to the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the ministerial-level committee of the IMF, through video conference, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that a V-shaped pattern of recovery is being seen in several high-level indicators.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Dec 3, 2020 10:30 pm

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