India has entered the next phase of its unique lockdown strategy, one that will determine if it can create a ‘new normal’ in which Covid 19 cases can be kept within manageable limits, while measures to reboot the economy are set into motion. The challenge is to do so without offsetting the gains made so far.

So, how exactly is Lockdown 2.0 different from its first edition? It’s important to understand this, if one needs to figure out why India believes it can find a way to do business alongside the pandemic. All major economies, including the US, do recognise the fact that some amount of risk would be necessary to resume economic activity. But their methods and models vary.

The Indian model has, so far — as I had mentioned in a previous column ( — relied heavily on its public administration system to slow down the pandemic. This was, in fact, the cornerstone of the first phase of the lockdown strategy. Reason: Unlike the US or South Korea, the Indian public healthcare system couldn’t have taken the load of a fast-spreading epidemic, especially when no one had an idea how it would play out here.

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