As COVID-19 cases remained largely under control allowing higher mobility of people, the Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) rose to a record high of 99.4 for the week ending August 8 as against 94.0 for the previous week.
NIBRI, which collates high-frequency data from multiple trackers like Apple driving index and Google, is nearing the pre-pandemic level of 100, the Hindustan Times quoted research analyst Sonal Varma as saying on August 9.
She said: “This index is near the pre-pandemic level of 100 and surpassing the pre-second-wave peak (of 99.3 in mid-February).”
The Nomura India Business Resumption Index had plateaued briefly before mobility picked up with Apple driving index, Google workplace, and retail and recreation rose by 6.7, 7.4, and 5.3 percentage points, respectively.
Also, electricity consumption, which is one of the key indicators of the pace of economic activity, rose by 5.3 percent week on week, according to the Nomura Index.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
At the same time, the labour participation rate also increased from 39.8 percent to 41.5 percent, meaning more people are job hunting at the moment. This, in turn, has pushed the unemployment rate up to 8.1 percent.As per securities firm Nomura, the business resumption index also soared partly due to the daily COVID-19 case count, which “remained flat at 40,000 per day”.