Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • At the peak of India's second  wave, one person died from 

  • Covid-19 every four minutes in  the country's capital of Delhi.

  • Thousands of people were  losing their lives every day

  • but a second nationwide  lockdown was nowhere to be seen.

  • People have been shaken by the second wave. You can't put it any other way, Timo.

  • It's been devastating on the ground, and emotions are raw.

  • People are hurt. There's anger. There's anguish. There's frustration.

  • So why the hesitation to lock the country down? And what does the country need to do to recover?

  • Before the pandemic, India was one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

  • The country's GDP growth  outpaced the world's since 

  • the turn of the century, at an  average of 6.6% year-on-year.

  • In 2015, it did what other countries couldn't. It overtook China to become the fastest

  • growing major economy in the world, holding the spot for three years.

  • But then India's impressive growth story hit a number of stumbling blocks.

  • Hi Tanvir! Hi Timo, great to see you!

  • Tanvir is an anchor for CNBC International, and has been covering India for

  • 15 years. Yeah, it's been a while.

  • What do you think was the reason behind that growth?

  • The investment cycle was picking up 

  • A lot of incentives were given  from a policy perspective

  • that helped India grow at a fairly impressive pace but there was the impact of demonetization.

  • India was going through some stress in the financial sector.

  • The state-run banks were facing a lot of pressure

  • They were sitting on a huge pile of bad loans, and needed help from the government.

  • There was a particular quarter in 2019, where we saw a low in India's economic cycle.  

  • But that got fixed.  

  • In an effort to revive the  country's economy, Prime Minister 

  • Narendra Modi's government introduced  several reforms in late 2019.

  • They included cutting corporate  tax rates and speeding 

  • up the privatisation of  government-owned companies.

  • Before they could assess whether these changes were successful,

  • the country recorded its first case of Covid-19 on January 27th, 2020.

  • By March, cases were rising exponentially, and the country went into a sudden,

  • strict nationwide lockdown  at the end of the month

  • four hours after Modi's announcement.

  • It brought the economy to a standstill.

  • It took a good three to four months for the economy to bounce back.

  • The second impact was on migrant workers.

  • India faced a crisis among migrant workers  because overnight they lost their livelihoods.

  • Overnight, they were displaced, and so they had to go back to their homes

  • in rural India and for them to come back to their jobs also took a while.

  • So yes, the impact on the economy was devastating.

  • The country's GDP shrank byrecord 24% between April and June,the first time the Indian economy had 

  • contracted since it started  reporting this data in 1996.

  • India's economy then began showing signs of a V-shaped recovery,

  • contracting by a less dramatic 7.5% between July and September.

  • And despite GDP shrinking by eight percent overall in 2020,

  • the International Monetary Fund projected growth of 12.5 percent in 2021.

  • It was the V-shaped recovery everybody was talking about, right?

  • We've seen that play out in the U.S. and in the United Kingdom,  and that was a story in India as well.

  • When the country reopened in the autumn of 2020,  Prime Minister Modi declared that India,

  • the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, would be used to help 'all humanity'.

  • With the economy on the rebound and Covid cases seemingly under control, optimism was at a high.

  • India had a great festive season last year between October to December.

  • People were having big weddings, people were travelling all over India,

  • through the course of December and January.

  • And through that period by the way, the first wave had peaked, and the case count was really down.

  • Why was transmission so much faster, so much deadlier in Spring 2021 than it was  in the first wave?

  • It was complacencyat every level.

  • By mid-March 2021, cases began to rise exponentially.

  • At the heart of the surge was the B1617 variantbelieved to be more contagious than the original virus.

  • I'm sure when it's part of your main job to cover India,

  • Waking up everyday to hear new reports, to hear the new death toll, how is that?

  • Very very painful, and

  • I have family back in India. My friends are back in India.

  • It's not just about the numbers out there, or how widespread and how the bad situation is,

  • It's about how much people are going through at an emotional level.

  • The government avoided imposing a second nationwide lockdown, however,

  • to avoid the humanitarian crisis and economic impact brought on by the first.

  • Rather, the country is enacting local lockdowns as a last resort in areas hit the hardest,

  • and is relying on vaccinations to protect its people and its economy.

  • Modi ramped up production of vaccines in March, and halted exports to prioritize domestic doses.

  • India has two major vaccine manufacturers. One is the Serum Institute's Covishield,

  • which is based on AstraZeneca, and one is Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, which is  the local vaccine.

  • By the time we ended 2020,  there was this expectationthere would be enough supply for India.

  • There was this need to help other countries  that were in a more dire situation.

  • That calculation misfired.

  • I've been speaking to a lot of medical experts and specialists in India over the course of the last few weeks,

  • and they're telling me that it's a matter of time that shortfall will be corrected.

  • The healthcare system did get overwhelmed quite quickly.

  • When I speak to doctors, they tell me that a national taskforce has been set up

  • by the Supreme Court to understand and fix the problem.

  • At every level,  

  • the effort was to set things right. It took a while and was very painful.

  • The World Economic Forum has also recommended a revamp in

  • Indian cities' data collection and communication channels.

  • During the outbreak, officials spent days trying to get basic data on bed availability

  • and facility locations, and information on cluster outbreaks and deaths was unreliable.

  • WEF says plugging these knowledge gaps, particularly in public health, transportation

  • and the protection of migrants will be crucial to getting the virus under control.

  • Cities are expected to account for 70% of India's economic recovery, making them critical  to the nation's comeback.

  • And despite the tough road ahead,  Tanvir tells me people and businesses on the ground  are already adapting to a new normal.

  • The long term is still very promising for India. Hopefully with vaccinations, with more anti-bodies being present in people at large,

  • and the situation right now, with the proper precautionary measures being put in place,

  • proper restrictions being put in place, the situation could be better.

  • Thank you all so much for watching our video! How are things where you are?

  • Comment below and don't forget to subscribe!

At the peak of India's second  wave, one person died from 

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 india economy country modi wave nationwide

What’s next for India? | CNBC Explains

  • 19 1
    Summer posted on 2021/06/04
Video vocabulary