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  • Nishi Kapahi

Impact of COVID on the Workers in South Asia

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the economies of the world. But South Asian workers have been affected in a big way.


The pandemic has had a huge impact on the economies of the world. But South Asian workers have been affected in a big way. Over 60% of the informal sector workers suffered job loss in the first month of the lockdown. In the formal sector, tourism, hospitality and the apparel industry among others, seem to be the worst affected. Reverse migration of millions of workers only worsened the situation. Revival of these industries will take a long time.


The frontline workers primarily the medical and nursing staff, cleaners, sanitation workers, police and security forces came under the direct influence of the virus. Long working hours, lack of safety and personal protective gear, mental stress and trauma have exacerbated situations rapidly affecting the mankind. Rates of suicides have suddenly seen an upward trend. Closure of domestic and international borders have affected incomes, which have in turn led to non-payment of loans and EMIs etc. making people vulnerable.


While people are learning to live with the COVID Pandemic, the shift of the workplace from the formal “office” to “office at home” has become the new norm. Formal working hours, decorum, behaviours, dress codes are all seeing a change. The pandemic has really changed the entire narrative of the workplace – formal as well as informal.

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