Hunger may kill more people than COVID-19, if the lockdown is extended, according to Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy.
India must accept the coronavirus as the new normal, Murthy said at a webinar on April 29, as quoted by The Economic Times. He added that the country should enable those who are able-bodied to return to work, while taking care of those who are vulnerable to infection.
"What is important for us to understand is that India cannot continue in this situation for too long. Because at some point of time, deaths due to hunger will far outweigh deaths due to coronavirus," Murthy said, as quoted by the publication.
Murthy noted that India's mortality rate is relatively lower than many developed nations, and added that India has been able to flatten the curve in most places due to the lockdown.
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The Infosys founder also pointed out that many individuals in the informal or unorganised sector will lose their jobs if the lockdown continues for a long time.
Speaking about the impact of the lockdown on businesses, Murthy said most have lost 15-20 percent of their revenues. This will in turn have an adverse effect on income tax and goods and services tax (GST) collections.
Murthy also advised entrepreneurs to boost innovation and develop ways to curb the spread of COVID-19.