The founder of Global IT firm Infosys, Narayan Murthy has said that more people may die in India due to hunger than COVID-19 if the country decides to extend the lockdown, which has already been prolonged once until 3 May.
Speaking at a business webinar, Murthy said, “What is important for us to understand is that India cannot continue in this situation for too long. Because at some point of time, deaths due to hunger will far outweigh deaths due to coronavirus".
He added the coronavirus is the new normal that India should accept and arrange the return of able-bodied labourers to work while providing them with the required protection from the virus.
As pointed out by the Indian Health Ministry, the current death rate due to COVID-19 in the country stands at around 3.3 percent. The country has seen 67 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Murthy’s remarks come against the backdrop of thousands of migrant workers and daily wage labourers travelling back to their hometowns after losing their daily source of livelihood, a blow that came along with the announcement of a 21-day lockdown on 24 March that was later extended to 3 May.
In order to ensure that no poor or needy person goes to sleep hungry, the government of India rolled out a $22.36-billion financial package for migrant workers, women, and the poor. State governments have also come up with relief packages and delivery of rations to the poor during the crisis.
So far, India has registered 33,050 COVID-19 cases with 1,718 new cases being discovered in the last 24 hours. On the positive side, 8,325 recoveries have also been recorded.