A steady decline in Covid-19 cases for the past two weeks have led to softening of high-frequency indicators of the economy, except for railway freight, which increased moderately on-week, rating agency CRISIL said in a report. Its estimate shows the daily cases have declined 22 per cent sequentially in the week ending May 23, which is faster than the 15 per cent fall the week before.
The data shows that retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, transit stations, workplaces, electronic toll collection, power supply and GST e-way bills have shown signs of improvement by May 17.
All indicators point towards the improving Covid-19 situation in the country, the report said. “While daily cases have dipped, testing continues to increase, growing 11% in the last week. Accordingly, test positivity rate (proportion of daily cases to samples tested) has dropped to 13.1% (from 18.8% a week earlier). Recovery rate improved to 88.7 per cent as of May 23 from 84.8 per cent the previous week,” it said.
The CRISIL report says the economic impact of the second wave of the pandemic on states will be determined by the covid caseload, nature of lockdowns, structural composition of output and pace of vaccination. The states lagging on these parameters will remain more vulnerable, it adds.
Vaccine availability is one of the major bottlenecks in India’s fight against Covid-19. Due to high population, and production constraints, India’s vaccine distribution is facing various roadblocks. As of May 23, daily vaccinations reduced to 980 per million people from 1,455 per million a week earlier. The world average is 3,564 per million, the CRISIL report said.
As the Covid-19 cases continue to fall and recoveries are rising faster, active cases over the week have declined for the first time since the second wave began, falling 17 per cent on-week. Based on this data, CRISIL said the country may have crossed the peak of the second wave on May 6, when daily Covid cases stood at 4.14 lakh cases.
Despite the improving Covid situation, states like Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Assam are still under a strong viral grip, with an increase in cases over the week, while Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan have seen some of the sharpest declines in Covid-19 cases.