TRA Research Chief Executive N. Chandramouli said: “There are also big gaps in information and knowledge about the coronavirus.

TRA, a Comniscient Group Company was established in 2008 in order to decipher, analyse and measure Brand Trust and Brand Attractiveness. It makes the analysis universally comprehensible and eases the application. It is one of the most trusted insights and brand intelligence company around the globe.

On 24th April 2020, TRA released its white paper on the findings of its research survey conducted across 16 cities from 10th  April to the 22nd April 2020. The white paper titled TRA’s Coronavirus Consumer Insights 2020, is based on a research conducted across 16 cities with 902 urban citizens and delves into their perceptions, attitudes, worries, fears and expectations who have been grounded in their homes for nearly a month now.

The research states that the country is dealing comparatively well with the health crisis but could be lagging in dealing with the economic crisis. The white-paper released by the TRA says that 73% of the citizens trust that the nation will cope with the medical emergency, however only 63% believe that the government will be able to combat the economic emergency. This survey shows that people have fears of losing their distinguished places in the economy.  

The gap between decision-making and implementation of decisions remains because of the economical differences between people. The government has released a relief package of $26B, which forms 0.8% of the GDP. The hindrances in implementing these relief schemes can be that the reliefs may not reach the elementary formulators of the society due to red tapism or corruption. The wider the gap between rich and poor, the more difficult it can be for the government to cope with an economic crisis as large as one which is positioned second after the Great Depression of 1929. 

TRA Research Chief Executive N. Chandramouli said: “There are also big gaps in information and knowledge about the coronavirus transmission. The misinformation is impacting attitudes and actions of citizens.” While most cities are relatively informed of the symptoms of the disease, they are ill-informed of the transmission, which happens through surfaces. 

Adding to the report, the CEO said: “The lockdown decision and implementation had a significant gap of 24% in terms of effectiveness. There are also big gaps in information and knowledge about the coronavirus transmission, especially in two age brackets, 21 to 24 years and 46 to 50 years. The same information gap is seen across cities, barring Mumbai. The misinformation is impacting the attitudes and actions of citizens, for example the belief that eating meat or eggs would spread the virus more significantly.”

Misinformation is highest about disease spread in Delhi followed by Chandigarh. Delhi, however, scored the highest in terms of the knowledge on symptoms, followed by Mumbai which was nearly two-third lower in this quotient.

As perceived by Mr. Chandramouli, the reason why people could be disbelieving in the government strategies to combat the emergency as they have not yet been informed of an exit strategy and future plans. The gap of misinformation already separates them from facts. Hence, we see protesters on the streets at a time when social distancing is the only way to prevent ourselves from a fatal disease.

The migrant workers are the real sufferers. The government has, nevertheless, arranged for the safe return of these workers to their hometowns and villages. The government has also released packages exclusively meant to provide essentials for the working class and proletariats.  

Undeniably, sectors like the travel and aviation, entertainment, sports and factories have been affected globally. In India, the economy is run by small businesses or commonly called as MSMEs, which can be dangerously impacted. The small businesses incur profits monthly, and the country is under lockdown since a month now, and counting and no clarity till date. 

Therefore, these are unavoidable circumstances. But the government is taking necessary actions to provide loans and loan guarantees to the small-scale industries. The government, indeed wants to promote what is the heart of the economy: the MSME sector. The exit strategy will hopefully bring about technological transformation in running these businesses. 

Despite finding ourselves  captured by the greatest economic depression, a fascinating proposition of the research findings says that people surveyed in the Family Worry Index show maximum concern when it comes to contracting the disease, i. e.,  the lingering worry in the minds of people is that someone from the family may contract the disease (74%), the loss of their job or business was the second biggest concern (68%), and delayed salary was third (62%). 

In fact, as reports by most economists have suggested, the global crisis is certainly going to steep low but is not going to affect every individual equally. Most people will retain their jobs, perhaps for a curtailed salary. 

Alarming as the situation is, the government will soon come up with an exit strategy which will be for the welfare of all. In the current circumstances, one is surrounded by the question of how we will recede to reduced stages of the virus. It is no surprise that the government is prioritizing the medical emergency over the economic situation. 

Edited by Shraddha Jha

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