Though the number of people getting afflicted with Covid is going up but, right now, sitting in the safe confines of our home, things don’t look so bad. More than the Covid, it could be because the stock market is also up – currently up over 2000 points.
This surge in the markets, closely following the footsteps of the global markets is a good psychological booster. It has got nothing to do with India giving its consent for export of anti-malaria drugs to some countries - it is only because, as our Editor, Mr.SP Tulsian explained, the market has been in an oversold position and now bargain traders and investors are swooping down. The cautious feeling is also that we are learning to deal with it; the economic repercussions will be dealt with once we get rid of the virus. So in many ways, the market is making a sort of peace with the situation, at least for today. No way does it mean that the market has discounted the virus impact – that is yet to unfold but the feeling is that maybe by the end of the month, we could see the economy slowly raising its battered head to see light, maybe just a sliver of light.
The BIG question is whether the lockdown will go from 14th April. If we look at the numbers we are at today, we are clearly seeing a spike up – there are more positives cases, more deaths and yes, more recoveries too. But at this juncture, if we remove the lockdown, there is the real scare of India facing an Italy like situation.
At the same time, if we continue with this for two more weeks, many small and medium scale entrepreneurs will go bust; this lockdown becoming into social and humanitarian crisis is very real.
Thus the line is very thin – either way there is disaster. All this is unchartered territory and the Govt should really consult experts, health officials, industry leaders and more importantly, the states to come to a decision.
There are suggestions of demarcating the country into three zones – green which is the safest and can be fully opened up; yellow which is medium risk but economic activity can be allowed in a staggered way and then the red, which is the danger zone with high cases and would need prolonged lockdown. But will it be as easy as this? Once public transport is opened up, even in a small way, people will go from one place to other. We are not as disciplined as we need to be, so assuming that people will be contained in that one zone is naïve.
Well, the market is happy for today but things on the ground remain grim. In all probability, we are sure to see the lockdown continuing, at least in Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala. Many states in fact are urging the Govt to not lift the lockdown.
In three days, we will know but for now, enjoy this moment on the market; its an uneasy bull run because we know the road ahead is dark.