April data pointed to an unprecedented contraction in Indian manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) to 27.4, as the national lockdown to stem the spread coronavirus disease hit businesses hard.
The latest reading is the lowest that the index has ever touched. It points to the sharpest deterioration in business conditions across the sector since data collection for the series began over 15 years ago.
In an environment of severely reduced demand, new business collapsed at a record pace and firms sharply reduced their staff numbers. Meanwhile, both input costs and output prices were lowered markedly as suppliers and manufacturers themselves offered discounts in an attempt to secure orders.
At 27.4 in April, the seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing PMI:registered: fell from 51.8 in March. The latest reading pointed to the sharpest deterioration in business conditions across the sector since data collection began over 15 years ago.
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.
The decline in operating conditions was partially driven by an unprecedented contraction in output. Panellists often attributed lower production to temporary factory closures that were triggered by restrictive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.