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Covid-19: Nearly 30% NCR households hit by essential supply shortages, finds NCAER survey

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 13, 2020

Majority of respondents support lockdown extension for two more weeks

Nearly 30 per cent of the households in National Capital Region (NCR) are affected by shortages in supplies of food, cooking fuel and medicine, the findings of a NCAER survey showed.

About 9 percent of households experienced difficulty in accessing medicines, which could lead to serious health implications going forward, especially if these shortages get worse over time, according to the survey findings.

This Delhi NCR coronavirus Telephone Survey (DCVTS) -- conducted by NCAER's National Data Innovation Centre -- interviewed a random sample of some 1,750 adults of the Delhi-NCR region and comprised 31 districts spread across the four States of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The DCVTS will be conducted in three rounds with the findings of the first round now getting released. Two other rounds are expected to take place at the end of April and May.

LIVELIHOODS

A vast majority of the DCVTS respondents reported a reduction in the income or wages in the two weeks before the survey i.e since March 20, with the reduction being the lowest for salaried workers and farmers, and the most for casual workers.

More than half (54.9 per cent) reported that coronavirus outbreak had reduced income or wages "very much" and nearly a third reported that income and wages had fallen "somewhat". Only 15.5 per cent of households reported that the coronavirus outbreak had not reduced their income or wages in the two weeks preceding the survey.

An estimated 74.5 per cent of the casual workers reported that their income and wages had suffered "very much". The corresponding figures were lower for regular salaried workers (46.7 per cent) and farmers (41.6 per cent). It is possible that the effect on farmers could be greater after the harvesting season is over (towards the end of April or May), given that the lockdown and social distancing may make it difficult for farmers to sell and deliver their produce, the survey added.

LOCKDOWN EXTENSION

Inspite of facing difficulties and challenges, the majority of respondents supported the idea of extending the lockdown period if needed. As many as 86.7 per cent of respondents expressed support for an extension of the lockdown for 2 more weeks after April 14th, with 62.5 per cent strongly supporting the extension, and 24.2 per cent supporting it.

DENIAL GAP

There appeared to be a sense of some denial among nearly two thirds of respondents that though highly dangerous, they themselves would not get infected by coronavirus. This denial gap could have serious implications for what happens when the lockdown is lifted if households become complacent believing that they themselves would be immune to the infection, according to the survey findings.

Published on April 13, 2020

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