With uncertainty around reopening of schools that were closed in March in view of the coronavirus pandemic, shops that had already stocked up on school uniforms and stationery for the upcoming academic year (2020-21) are reporting low sales.
Talking to CNBC, NP Singh, owner of New Lyllalpur Cloth Store said, “We are the third generation uniform sellers. Even demonetisation couldn’t disrupt our business. Last time our business was affected during the 1984 emergency. For last six months, there has been zero sales for uniforms. Now we are diversifying ourselves to the casual clothes.”
While VK Gupta, owner of Rai Book Store, shared, “We have been in books trading business for over 60 years and are providing services both online and offline. Nearly 50 percent of our sales are hampered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our main business is to provide textbooks to schools, and it was severly affected due to the lockdown as the most of the sales takes place in March.”
He added: “This year, sales for creative stationery have picked up. As we hope that the situation normalizes soon, there’s a need to shift 20 percent to 30 percent of our trade online.”
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.
As uniform and stationery stores hope for schools to restart soon to boost their sales, most are looking to diversify or operate in online mode to survive.
Meanwhile, India reached a grim milestone on August 30 as the country’s single-day tally of 78,761 coronavirus infections became the highest reported by any nation since the pandemic began.The world's second most populous nation is the third worst-affected globally after the US and Brazil, but its daily tallies have exceeded those of the other two countries for almost two weeks.