When the Second wave in India would decline and what this means for Business

Further to my hypothesis a few weeks back regarding the peak of SARS Covid in India, it was heartening to see a decline in cases the last few days. Everyone is wondering when this pandemic would take a manageable form (if not eradicated, we still have time for that).

Encouraged by the trend, I created projections with two assumptions: a) The lockdown continues as before till it reaches a threshold of 500 cases; b) no new mutant strain presents itself.

The first scenario “A” assumes that the numbers provided are as per the numbers of cases in the public domain (Fig 1,2). Scenario “B” takes a more idealistic classical form with cushioning for asymptomatic or unreported rural cases (Fig 3,4).

FIG 1. India second wave of Coronavirus
Fig 2. Delhi Second Wave of Coronavirus

Scenario A, provides the threshold pinpointed on the curve after which we can assume the curve will decline. So, if for eg Delhi reaches a target of 1250 active cases on 24 May, 3 days from now; and further reduces to 500 active cases by 07 Jun, we can be certain that the situation is now manageable. (How I reached the two numbers, 1250 and 500, I would require another post at a later date)

What this means for Business. They can strategise for this scenario, rather than waiting for the government to announce an opening. They now can estimate that, Delhi for example, would have stabilised by 07 June, but incase they have supplies or vendors in other parts of the country, incase of non-essential goods and services; they might have to wait till India reaches its first threshold of 100K by 06 Jun, 70K by 09 Jun and 40K by 07 Jul to feel somewhat safe. So, they might need to look for alternatives locally instead of Pan-India for the uncertain period between 07 Jun and 07 Jul. Some business can also explore local market, if they haven’t already; stretch their business model portfolio to include essential goods and services.

Scenario B is the projection I estimated a few weeks back, when the peak was uncertain. It follows an unencumbered organic growth of the virus based on Raymonds Pearl’s Law of growth, if there is to be such a premise. It cushions for the fact that some cases are unreported, undetected or hidden due to variety of reasons.

Fig 3 India 2nd Wave of SARS Covid
Fig 4: Delhi Second wave of SARS Covid

What this means for Business. This scenario prepares for more time duration. It assumes that India is able to reduce its cases to 100K by 25 Jun and a further reduction to 50K cases occurs by 05 Jul, ultimately reaching a manageable 25K cases by mid July. It particular affects businesses with Pan-India operations in non-essential goods and categories space. Now is not a time for cold calling, telemarketing, direct marketing, travel or tourism industries. Engaging in any of the same might be considered inappropriate by the consumers and society. With most people over the country suffering or having suffered from the pandemic, excessive buying or consumption during this difficult time also channels resources away from where it might be needed most. Mental condition of the general populous might also be affected which can be oversensitive to various stimulus which are not geared towards their health and wellbeing. On the other hand, migrant labour might be affected as the pandemic strikes in the rural areas. This is a time to channel your CSR spending to “health” instead of say “education” or environment. Based on the geographic location of the business, it can look at temporary models with a social enterprise at heart. This would create value for the society and help create a long term goodwill.

( I’ve also resisted creating a projection for the ubiquitous third wave. Projecting a third wave is akin projecting a stock market crash with help of technical analysis. I’ll think further about it, maybe something strikes…)

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