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‘Indians should work for 60 hours a week for next 2-3 yrs to revive economy’: Narayana Murthy

The economic impact of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone worried. As the last day for the extended lockdown – May 3 – draws closer, there are many questions about what lies next in terms of reviving the Indian economy. Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy shared his thoughts on the same in an interview with Chandra Ranganathan of ET Now.

Among other things, he said that Indians would have to learn to live with coronavirus for the next 12-18 months, companies will need to take precautions, and overall, Indians would have to put in more work and more hours to put the economy on a track again.

Precautions companies can take

Murthy said that the factors he would consider to open up factories would be based on data on who is most vulnerable to the virus.

Based on the same, and the present evidence that the elderly are more vulnerable, he said that companies should find out how they can best protect their employees – by providing personal protection gear like gowns, gloves, masks and goggles – and what will be the cost of this.

“We could operate three shifts in a one or two shift company to improve social distancing. We could use gowns, masks, gloves, goggles for low risk employees to attend factories. I would have made an analysis and said, let the less vulnerable work with protective gear and let elderly people work from home or from their own offices,” Murthy said.  

“Let data lead us to the decisions, we should not rely on opinions,” he added.


Commenting on the testing capacity in India, Murthy said that even if India tests one lakh people a day, it would take 37 years to test everyone. He added that there is no vaccine in sight, and pointed out that even if there was one in the near future, we do not know how or if it will work on Indian genes. In this situation, Indians should learn to live with the novel coronavirus for the next 12-18 months, he said.    

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