On Tuesday 23th March 2020 our honorable prime minister Shri Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown of 21 days to safeguard its people from the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).
The PM in his speech said that “This is like a curfew, but stricter in comparison with the ‘JANTA CURFEW’ which was held on Sunday 22nd March 2020”. He also added “seeing the present condition, the country will undergo a complete lockdown of 21 days. This is to save the nation, save each citizen and save each family. Don’t step outside your house for these 21 days, only one step outside your house will bring this deadly virus inside your house.”
Shri Narendra Modi later issued an appeal to the public and asked them not to indulge in panic buying as people were crowding markets to stock up before the midnight deadline. Later, the government also issued a notification stating that essential services will be open which includes pharmacies, banks, ATMs, petrol pumps, hospitals, and grocery stores.
India entered day 3 of the 21-day lockdown on Friday 27th March 2020. The Number of confirmed cases reached the 800 marks. The Death tally also increased to 20. The number of people who have recovered from this deadly virus is 73.
This 21-day lockdown will have a huge impact on the country. But, the severity may vary.
IMPACT ON CORPORATIONS:-
Internet commerce companies like Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, etc. are encouraging remote working options amongst their employees. Rajnesh Kumar, senior vice president of Flipkart advised young parents to work from home.
Edtech giant Byju’s has also liberalized work-from-home policies. Ride-hailing company Uber is also pushing employees to work from home. Andrew Macdonald, Senior vice president at Uber asked employees not to come to office as this will reduce density and risk for everyone else.
Telecom major Reliance Jio sent an internal health advisory to their employees asking them to not attend public meetings and avoid using public transport.
A spokesperson of twitter said that “all employees will receive reimbursement towards their home office setup expenses and we are working with our vendors to ensure that the work from home needs are met as well “.
Wipro has also enabled work from the home facility in affected areas so that they can minimize the risk of others getting infected.
Nithin Kamath, founder of Zerodha has asked the entire team consisting of 1200 members to work from home.
IMPACT ON AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY:-
The lockdown created to avoid the spread of COVID-19 has left the automotive industry to expect a loss of 7.5 Lakh units in production and $2 Billion in revenue.
Companies themselves have shut down their factories so that they can minimize the risk of getting this virus spread. This has further affected the production of units. As it is on a standstill now.
On 20th March 2020, Tata Motors announced that they were shutting several plants. Mahindra, Maruti, Toyota & Hyundai also joined them on 22nd march, 2020. On 23rd March 2020 Kia, Yamaha & TVS also stated they would also suspend production.
Toyota vice president Naveen Soni said that they had voluntarily decided to halt the manufacturing until further notice.
Pawan Goenka, Managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra stated “These are unusual times and cash needs to be conserved. We here at Mahindra are thinking of multiple ways to deal with the situation.”
The estimated shortfall in the production as of march includes 1 lakh cars, 12000-15000 trucks, and more than half a million two-wheelers.
IMPACT ON UNORGANISED SECTOR:-
The nationwide lockdown created more hardships for the migrant workers across the country. The union home industry was afraid that industrial workers, agricultural workers and other citizens who lie under the unorganized sector have the potential to increase the spread of this deadly virus.
The ministry of home and affairs(MHA) issued a statement that stated that they can avoid the movement of people under this category by providing them free grain and other essential items through the public distribution system.
Delhi and Kerala are trying to set up community kitchens to feed the workers. A construction company in Gujrat said that they are taking care of contractual workers they have employed and will continue to do so under construction camps until the very end of the lockdown.
IMPACT ON ESSENTIAL GOODS & SERVICES:-
Warehouses of e-commerce companies have been shut and logistics providers like amazon & Flipkart have stopped offering their services to their sellers. Flipkart has stopped taking orders from their customers and waits till there is clarity from authorities.
Times of crisis for Swiggy and Zomato as they are operating with very few restaurants featuring on their app. Moreover, many consumers have reported that police are stopping delivery agents and further asking them to return.
The Pharma industry is also facing a low as drugmakers are already facing disturbance in their manufacturing supply chain and distribution channels across different parts of the country.
Mobile phones could also disappear soon enough. The factories, Warehouses, shops, everything remains close until further notice. Thus, the production of mobile phones has also suffered a huge blow.
Dairy companies are also facing enormous challenges in receiving the supply of milk and other dairy items. Tetra packs of milk are no longer available in certain markets. The managing director of Amul said that they are working with authorities to sort out supply issues.