India’s response to the coronavirus impact could include cash transfers to the informal economy



India is working on a set of policy measures to combat the economic impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus and that may include some cash transfers to workers in the informal sector, the country’s top economic advisor said.

The virus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, has infected more than 207,800 people and killed over 8,600 people globally, according to the World Health Organization. India has reported at least 151 cases, out of which 14 have recovered and three died, according to the health ministry.

Health officials worldwide have urged countries to step up measures that can keep the daily number of reported cases at a level manageable for health-care systems, a concept known as “flattening the curve.”

Countries like Italy, where the infection is spreading rapidly, are struggling to keep up and medical care facilities are being stretched to their limits. But many of those required actions, such as shutting down public places like shopping malls or banning tourists, are predicted to have an adverse economic impact — in service sectors like retail, leisure, and travel.

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