The sudden outbreak of the COVID 19 epidemic all over the world has forced many economies to resort to a total lockdown of non-essential operations, forcing them to revisit their economic strategies in the current scenario. The effect of this major outbreak can be seen in major cities across the globe and life has generally come to a standstill.
A COVID 19 infected person can spread the disease to another through the droplets that are led out of the nose or mouth while sneezing or coughing. These droplets contaminate the air and generally remain in the air for quite some time. This is called aerosol transmission. As per the WHO website, coronavirus is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or through contact with surfaces that have been used or infected by a person carrying the virus. Studies indicate that the coronavirus can last on surfaces for several days until it is cleaned with a disinfectant. The virus does fade away gradually. Contact with such contaminated surfaces increases the risk of getting affected by the virus.
With the world facing the major crises due to the rapid spread of the diseases from one human to another, the total confirmed cases worldwide have risen to 14,30,453 with a death toll of 82,133. (source Wikipedia)
In India alone, the total confirmed cases have risen to 5360 cases with a death toll of 164 people as on 8th April 2020. (source Business Standard).
The Government of India took a prompt step in announcing the 21-day lockdown early on starting from 25th March 2020 till 14th April 2020. Under the lockdown, several restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the general public. Ban on public gathering, suspension of public and private transport service, the prohibition of all religious, social, cultural, sports gatherings, etc, closure of all places of worship, malls, markets, parks, etc was announced due to the nature of the disease. Only essential services such as grocery, vegetable and fruit, hospitals, petrol pumps, and Banks shall remain open.
In view of the given circumstances, it is essential that we minimize our exposure to public places unless it is extremely essential. However, with no delivery options available due to the lockdown and to meet the daily needs, it is essential to move out of the house to purchase the daily essentials.
In such circumstances, many Telecom, Insurance, Credit Card Companies, and the banking sector have started encouraging their customers to use electronic mediums such as net banking to make payments for their EMI’s and dues. This helps the customer to not only manage their time and work but also eliminates the risk involved in getting in contact with those who might be infected. In times like these, digital platforms have served as a rescue to the major problem. Companies like Airtel, Vodafone, Jio, etc offer exciting plans on their website and the customers can recharge their prepaid number easily through net banking and use of plastic money. Payments can also be made through net banking, credit card or debit card for payment of post-paid number monthly bill.
Those who are living in a rented house can try options such as Paytm, google pay, mobile payment etc to pay their rentals. As the corona virus is spreading through the nation, digital platforms have helped in easing our transactions at these times. Many grocery stores do accept debit and credit card as well, which eliminates the need to withdraw money from ATM and eliminates the exchange money, both of which could be a potential carrier of the virus. Apart from the plastic money, the customers can also look at payment methods such as google pay and Paytm for buying groceries from the store. These apps have become very popular in India after demonetization & can be easily downloaded from google play store.