While we see a resurgence of Covid cases in many parts of Europe and the US, India’s Covid graph has witnessed a significant decline in recent weeks and the overall recovery rate has improved to 97.38 per cent. India has successfully administered over 50 million doses of vaccination and looks on point to achieve 100% success by the end of 2021. The lockdown restrictions have been relaxed in most of the states and very few continue with the restrictions depending upon the test positivity rate in the respective cities.
While India recovered fairly from the first wave, the second wave hit the country the hardest in terms of fatalities. With learnings from the first wave, the country used its experience to combat the effects of the second wave. Strategic lockdowns and easing up of the same have helped numerous States curb the spread of infection while providing the industry with considerable regulatory initiative to restore normalcy. With proactive measures, the country is slowly and steadily fighting against the insurgent second wave.
Indian Government provided relief measures in the form of logistical support, the Essential Commodities Act, and Covid-linked passes, which helped ease the day-to-day operations of multiple stakeholders. The situation improved gradually and confidence towards the business outlook for production rose as a phased reopening of the economy was announced. A positive outlook was witnessed in the manufacturing sector after the stabilization of the first wave due to an easing in Covid-19 restrictions and the resuming of full-time work in factories, which was supported by a surge in new work and exports.
As schools continue to operate virtually, Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies to deliver education. Educational institutions have moved towards blended learning and are encouraging teachers and students to become technology savvy. Online classes, webinars, virtual classrooms, teleconferencing, digital exams and assessments have become common phenomena. However, the Directorate of Education has not given any indication of resuming physical classes.
India’s housing sector might have suffered a setback during the first and the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic but housing demand in the country has revived since. While demand and supply both remained adversely impacted during the first two months of the April-June quarter of 2021, a period when most states remained in partial lockdowns to contain the second wave of the coronavirus spread, home sales and rental numbers have started to pick up in June, when states began the gradual opening-up process. The average values of properties in India’s prime residential markets have shown a marginal increase during the April-June period of 2021.
In-country Visa services, which are rendered through FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) are ongoing and active. All these services are online. However, personal visits to the FRRO are only possible with prior appointments. Consular Visa applications for Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, Angola, and Vietnam have resumed. It is mandatory to get a RT-PCR test done before 72 hours of arrival into India and followed by 14 days home quarantine. However, if the traveller is fully vaccinated, then 7 days self monitoring of health is to be done. The Government of India has opened up all the visa categories except Tourist visas (both electronic and regular) and Visa on arrival. Rest all the visas are being processed through Indian Missions abroad.
In order to facilitate the movement of persons on the limited international non- scheduled commercial flights, the following SoPs are hereby laid down by Indian aviation sector:
With India moving steadily towards the digital India dream, digital transactions have been on an upswing due to safety and social distancing norms. Availability of more digital wallets, more effortless and secure transactions, and the overriding safety concerns have led to a record adoption of digital payment channels during the pandemic. Though lockdown placed restrictions on e-commerce and consumers were dependent on local stores for essentials, people have slowly made e-commerce a way of life by allowing the delivery of the essentials. Due to fear of going out, consumers switched from retail shops, supermarkets, and shopping malls to online portals for purchasing a range of products, including essentials and subsequently non-essentials. Though stores and malls have reopened, they still operate with restricted access hence people are finding it more convenient to transact online.
Formula cars continue to operate as per the government directive. Interstate travel is restricted and we require to obtain travel passes to visit some states. We continue to support our clients in need of essential medical emergencies or airport travels. Formula Group will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and share regular communication and updates as the situation evolves.