Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian said that theSpanish flu infected 1/3rd of the population in the US and had a mortality rate of 6%. So, by itself, the percentage of people that are infected by Covid-19 is much less as here the mortality rate is just 3%(Vipin Kumar/HT file photo)
Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian said that theSpanish flu infected 1/3rd of the population in the US and had a mortality rate of 6%. So, by itself, the percentage of people that are infected by Covid-19 is much less as here the mortality rate is just 3%(Vipin Kumar/HT file photo)

CEA points at Spanish Flu lesson in Covid fight

The Spanish flu emerged in 1918 and claimed 39 million lives till 1920.
By Sunetra Choudhury | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 26, 2020 03:08 AM IST

A paper recently published by the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is bringing considerable comfort to policy makers here. Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian was the first to draw attention to the research and others like it on the Spanish flu pandemic (1918-1920) because he finds several lessons that the management of that pandemic holds for the Indian government. And if history were to repeat itself, he suggested, maybe India’s economic recovery after the crisis could be V-shaped.

Subramanian presented his findings at the Finance Commission advisory council meeting on Friday where he said because India’s economy resembled the US economy at the time of the Spanish Flu, “its study can provide a reasonable guesstimate about what will happen in the Indian scenario”. He was also present at the Prime Minister’s meeting with economists on Wednesday.

The Spanish flu emerged in 1918 and claimed 39 million lives till 1920. “The Spanish flu infected 1/3rd of the population in the US and had a mortality rate of 6%. So, by itself, the percentage of people that are infected by Covid-19 is much less as here the mortality rate is just 3%,’’ Subramanian told Hindustan Times, adding that important lessons can be derived by looking at the economic impact of the flu in 1920.

“There are several similarities that the US economy at the time and the Indian economy now have. For example,the proportion of urban population in the US was 45% while India’s, some say, could be closer to 45% (now),’’ he said.

Subramanian also points out that the proportion of various sectors like manufacturing, agriculture and services at that time in the US are similiar to the Indian economy’s numbers now. “There are some differences like India’s services sector is 5% greater than what the US’s was and the agri sector -- India’s is at a much lower share now than US was at the time. But at the macro level, there are similarities.’’

And there are learnings, he added.

The first and most important one, is the beneficial impact of the lockdown. Back then, “some counties (like our districts) enforced lockdown-like restrictions called Non Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs),’’ he said. This involved shutting churches and schools. “It turns out that the counties that had stricter NPIs had lower mortality. They also were able to bounce back economically soon. That means that jaan hai, aur jahaan bhi hai (lives and livelihoods were both saved),’’ he said riffing off the PM’s phrase during his second address to the nation.

The second lesson for Subramanian is the one on GDP. While many research firms expect India’s growth this year to fall to near-zero, the CEA is taking heart from US numbers post-Spanish flu -- they dropped to 3.5% but went to 7.5% soon after. “It’s the V-shaped recovery,’’ he said.

“However this analysis has to come with the caveat that we are dealing with enormous uncertainties,” Subramanian added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The PLIs for drones and robots will be the fourth set of incentives offered by MeitY,(HT Archive)
The PLIs for drones and robots will be the fourth set of incentives offered by MeitY,(HT Archive)

Centre planning scheme to push for production, export of drones

By Deeksha Bhardwaj, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:37 AM IST
India ranks low globally when it comes to production of drones and robots, and the country’s drone regulatory policy is still a work in progress. The scheme to push production of robotics and drones will be rolled out with PLIs on the lines of those offered to mobile handset makers.
Close
Justice Eswaraiah has filed his affidavit after an SC bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, directed him on January 11 to affirm it on oath that the voice in recorded conversation was his and he filed a correct transcript of the recording.(PTI)
Justice Eswaraiah has filed his affidavit after an SC bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, directed him on January 11 to affirm it on oath that the voice in recorded conversation was his and he filed a correct transcript of the recording.(PTI)

Amaravati land scam ex-Andhra HC judge files personal affidavit in Supreme Court

By Utkarsh Anand, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:31 AM IST
Justice V Eswaraiah has filed his personal affidavit as part of his appeal against the Andhra Pradesh high court order to investigate an alleged phone conversation between him and a suspended judicial officer, which the HC had dubbed as a “serious conspiracy” to destablise the judiciary.
Close
The affidavit has been filed before a bench, headed by justice Rohinton F Nariman, which will take up the MoRTH’s plea on Monday.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
The affidavit has been filed before a bench, headed by justice Rohinton F Nariman, which will take up the MoRTH’s plea on Monday.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Govt asks SC to accept panel’s majority view on wider road for Char Dham highway

By Utkarsh Anand, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:24 AM IST
In its report to the SC, the high-powered committee presented a divided opinion with the majority in favour of the wider roads on the Char Dham route, considering the strategic requirement and snow removal needs.
Close
Robert Vadra had denied any wrongdoing in the past even as the Congress party had called the action political vendetta.(HT File Photo)
Robert Vadra had denied any wrongdoing in the past even as the Congress party had called the action political vendetta.(HT File Photo)

ED moves HC for Robert Vadra's custodial interrogation

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:17 AM IST
The ED is conducting an initial inquiry into a money laundering case in the Bikaner land case. The ED has registered an enforcement case information report in the case and summoned Robert Vadra for questioning but in 2018 the firm approached Rajasthan high court against it.
Close
The current spell of dense to very dense fog across the Indo-Gangetic plains is likely to reduce during the next 2-3 days.(PTI)
The current spell of dense to very dense fog across the Indo-Gangetic plains is likely to reduce during the next 2-3 days.(PTI)

Dense fog engulfs parts of north India, mercury dips

By Jayashree Nandi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:12 AM IST
Dense to very dense fog was recorded on Sunday over Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Uttarakhand, Delhi and north Rajasthan. ‘Cold day’ to ‘severe cold day’ conditions occurred at most places over Punjab and Haryana and at isolated places over UP.
Close
Balveer Singh Yadav was convicted by a district and sessions court while his friend was acquitted. Yadav was awarded life imprisonment.
Balveer Singh Yadav was convicted by a district and sessions court while his friend was acquitted. Yadav was awarded life imprisonment.

In jail for 14 yrs, ex-army man acquitted of murder charge

By Shruti Tomar, Bhopal, Gwalior
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:06 AM IST
Balveer Singh said: “I was made accused just because I was seen with Surendra Yadav before his death. I am happy that stigma of being a murderer has been removed but I lost my job, pride and important 14 years.”
Close
Due to the PM’s prior commitments Nepalese foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali was received by defence minister Rajnath Singh, who is number two in the Modi government.(ANI)
Due to the PM’s prior commitments Nepalese foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali was received by defence minister Rajnath Singh, who is number two in the Modi government.(ANI)

India assures Nepal on vaccines, supply schedule likely next week

By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 03:54 AM IST
According to government interlocutors, Gyawali briefed Jaishankar about the preparedness of Nepal to receive the vaccines being manufactured in India. Nepal’s drug regulator approved emergency use of the Covishield vaccine being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Close
Farmers during the ongoing protest against the new agriculture laws at Delhi’s Singhu border on Sunday.
Farmers during the ongoing protest against the new agriculture laws at Delhi’s Singhu border on Sunday.

Decoding fine print of SC order on farm laws

By Utkarsh Anand, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 03:42 AM IST
The reluctance on the part of the Supreme Court to perform its foremost role of the final arbiter of law and deliver its decision when it really matters is writ large. Its action in this case has already provoked a barrage of criticism.
Close
This year’s moot problem focused on the law of bail in the context of special bail provisions that reverse the burden of proof against an accused.(HT Photo)
This year’s moot problem focused on the law of bail in the context of special bail provisions that reverse the burden of proof against an accused.(HT Photo)

Tamil Nadu law varsity wins 17th moot court contest

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:31 AM IST
As many as 67 teams from 101 institutions from across the world, including the United Kingdom, Zambia, Australia, Singapore, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, registered for the event.
Close
In the earlier detention on January 11, a police team in east Delhi detained six Rohingyas — two boys aged 10 and 14, a 15-year-old girl, a 60-year-old man, a woman, 50 and a 31-year-old man.(File Photo. Representative image)
In the earlier detention on January 11, a police team in east Delhi detained six Rohingyas — two boys aged 10 and 14, a 15-year-old girl, a 60-year-old man, a woman, 50 and a 31-year-old man.(File Photo. Representative image)

Two Rohingya men arrested for living in Delhi ‘illegally’

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:23 AM IST
Deputy commissioner of police (Dwarka) Santosh Kumar Meena, on Friday, said that based on local information, two men, Hamid Hussain (23) and Nabi Hussain (22), were arrested from Hastsal village in Uttam Nagar. A case was registered against them under the Foreigners Act.
Close
Members of the Bahujan Samajwadi Manch take part in ‘Maati Sankalp March’ in solidarity with farmers , at Ghazipur on Sunday.( )
Members of the Bahujan Samajwadi Manch take part in ‘Maati Sankalp March’ in solidarity with farmers , at Ghazipur on Sunday.( )

Won’t take vaccine till farm laws are junked: Protesters

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:16 AM IST
A day after India kicked off its vaccination drive against Covid , farmers protesting at Delhi’s borders maintained that they would not leave the capital to go to their home states to get vaccinated before the three contentious farm laws were repealed.
Close
The farm unions representing tens of thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have launched a mass agitation on the borders of the national capital.(PTI)
The farm unions representing tens of thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have launched a mass agitation on the borders of the national capital.(PTI)

Will hold peaceful R-Day parade in Delhi: farm unions

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 01:12 AM IST
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of farm unions spearheading the ongoing farmers’ agitation, said their tractor parade would cover a 60-km stretch and pass through New Delhi’s Outer Ring Road, covering areas such as Peeragarhi, Janakpuri and Munirka.
Close
"Our prime ministers speak regularly and Prime Minister Johnson has said he will visit India ahead of the G7”, said a statement by the British high commission.(MINT_PRINT)
"Our prime ministers speak regularly and Prime Minister Johnson has said he will visit India ahead of the G7”, said a statement by the British high commission.(MINT_PRINT)

Boris Johnson invites PM Modi to UK for June G7 summit

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 01:05 AM IST
The summit will be held in Cornwall during June 11-13. The UK invited the leaders of India, Australia and South Korea to attend as guest countries to “deepen the expertise and experience around the table”, the statement said.
Close
Across the country, a large majority of the vaccinations done on Saturday were using the Covishield vaccine since that has one of the highest volumes of ready stock. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Across the country, a large majority of the vaccinations done on Saturday were using the Covishield vaccine since that has one of the highest volumes of ready stock. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

India inoculates 220k individuals over two days of Covid-19 vaccination drive

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:48 AM IST
According to officials, among the 207,229 who got doses on the first day, three people — or .0014% — had significant side effects. Of these three, two were hospitalised overnight and discharged the following day while one remained admitted as of late Sunday.
Close
Congress flags waves at rallies
Congress flags waves at rallies

Congress, Left to complete seat-sharing arrangement in Bengal by January end

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:42 AM IST
  • The Election Commission of India is likely to announce the schedule of the elections in February and the polls may be held in phases in March and April.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP