The author of this blog is Shivi Shrivastava Semester IV, Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad.

The planet is now in the grips of the novel Corona Virus or COVID-19. All over the world, this outrageous and draconian virus has spread in more than 210 countries infected more than 4 million population and caused the death of more than 2.88 lakh people.[1] The disease is spreading across the world and causing fatality to thousands of lives every single day. This virus has become humanity's current nemesis. The figures for confirmed cases and death counts in India are rocketing at a high pace. India’s COVID-19 positive cases have surged to more than 81,000 with a death toll nearing the 2700-mark.[2]
COVID-19 is an infectious disease that is quickly evolving and is the reason for the current global health crisis. This disease is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has become unstoppable. The first case of COVID-19 was reported in November 2019 in Wuhan, China.[3] This new strain of the virus has never previously been found in human beings.[4]  On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 as "pandemic" and a national emergency. A pandemic as defined by WHO is an epidemic that usually affects a large number of people and spreads worldwide or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries.[5]Within a few months, this mammoth pandemic has clawed on all the continents of the planet except Antarctica. The world has never witnessed such a situation in a generation, where every other country is on high alert.
Over myriads of problems that exist in the world, COVID-19 is a challenge, and destroying this virus needs national support. COVID-19 has hijacked the rhythm of our daily routine, caused bewilderment and chaos all across the globe, crushed the economy, suspended the fights and trains, shattered the stock market and has forced the countries to impose stringent measures like complete lockdown, quarantines or mass-closures. Terror thrives regarding the COVID-19 and its deadly consequences. This monstrous pandemic is attacking societies at the core, both socially as well as legally. The pandemic has flickered fears of an impending economic crisis.
Impact on the Economy
The impact of the pandemic is worsening every week. The economic implications of the pandemic are not only detrimental to the public health but ceaseless other things like retail chains, food, and agriculture, travel and trade, etc. Due to the unanticipated halt in all types of economic activities, the development of each country has become standstill. According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy would shrink by 3 percent this year, which is the steepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.[6] The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted all the global supply chains, caused an unprecedented impact on the health of people bankrupted all the businesses, fractured international trade and has made millions of people unemployed. Researchers have estimated that the world would face a situation of extreme global poverty as an impact of COVID 19.
The pandemic has overwhelmed almost all the countries across the world and India also has borne the brunt of the same. The condition in India is heart-breaking and pathetic, where the small-scale wage workers, laborers are starving, losing livelihoods and the country is at high risk. The pandemic is devastating the economy as it is expected that during every day of the lockdown India would lose $ 4.5 billion and is wreaking havoc to the country. As of now by 27th April, million youth in the age group of 20-30 years has lost their jobs as the result of the nationwide lockdown. It can be said that in future the businesses and the firms would be grappling with tremendous uncertainty.
The complete lockdown imposed in the country is hitting the retail, pharma, and service sector very hard. It is estimated by the economist that in India the impact of COVID-19 will be around Rs 7-8 trillion and all the sectors will the brunt of this pandemic.[7] The halt imposed on transportation facilities and the suspension of visas has led to plunging in the tourism sector. Further, there has been a great detrimental effect of this outbreak on primary sectors, secondary sectors, and tertiary sectors. All the sectors and industries including chemical industries, Shipping, Automobile, Textile, Solar Power Sector would be adversely affected and will result in massive fallout for the economy. It was forecasted by the economists that this year there will be a revival in GDP because the Indian economy was experiencing a sluggish phase ever since the GST was implemented and the demonetization. But all this went vain as COVID-19 pandemic has destructured the entire Indian economy.
Social and Legal Impact of the pandemic
The consequences of this pandemic are dramatic and they would have long term effects. COVID-19 pandemic has cut across all segments of the population and especially it has hard hit the indigent people, senile, people, with disabilities and youth. It can be undoubtedly said that the income of people during this pandemic could drop significantly, leading to a reduction in consumption by households and which will result in the prevalence of undernutrition rise. The closure of colleges and schools could expose children to multiple types of child abuse which will have indelible consequences on their health and can cause unwanted pregnancies and emotional trauma also.[8]
The public's pestilence fear and the governmental reaction has postponed or canceled many public events and has restrained daily activities. The tourism sector has been adversely affected and there is a diminution in the international arrivals. In India, since the transports have stopped carrying passengers across the country, the migrants and poverty-stricken people have started walking to hundreds of kilometers to their native villages. This has caused potential devastation on the health of the workers and laborers and ultimately led to the spread of the coronavirus.
The impact of COVID-19 is not just restricted to socio-economic but this colossal pandemic is also legally affecting the country. Multiple legal implications are arising as a result of the epidemic which includes insurance coverage of epidemic-related damages, issues related to employment relationships, problems in the field of travel laws, and commercial contracts. Many contracts would be delayed, postponed, or canceled as an outcome of the pandemic. Parties may restrain from performing the contractual obligation either because of the impact of coronavirus or they are attempting to use it as an excuse to disentangle themselves from an unfavorable contract. There has been that whether COVID-19 will give rise to a valid force majeure defense under a particular contract or not because different contacts stipulate different requirements for different situations. So, the companies and firms are advised to enterprisingly manage the pertaining legal risk and cautiously judge which party will bear the losses caused by the pandemic.[9]
The pandemic has sent shock waves across every corner of the world. Fear and terror are on the rise. Agitation and concern brew over lockdowns, quarantines, mass surveillance, and travel bans. Essential commodities have become hoard-worthy goods. All the researchers and scientists across the world are working night and day to find a cure for this havoc and develop a vaccine for coronavirus. This is the time when the national governments and international agencies should take the leadership role in saving the planet and making the diagnosis, treatments, vaccines for the coronavirus a national and global priority.[10] All medical institutions and research centers must brace up and work under proactive management approaches. Continued and enhanced coordinated international disease scrutiny is essential.
Despite this catastrophe, the Indian government is not behind in bringing a positive change in the status quo. They are taking all the necessary steps to prevent COVID-19, including the delivery of essential items and stable commodities, doorstep delivery of packed mid-day meals, periodical medical check-ups are being done and providing residence to the suspected people. The government is raising awareness through every means including WhatsApp Chatbot, videos, messages on phones, emails, mobile caller tunes, online dashboards, and what not. The Government of India on 1st April has launched the 'Aarogya Setu' app which can track the coronavirus cases across the country. The authorities are also providing emergency passes to regulate the movement of people and goods during the lockdown period.
The government has made certain procedural changes in the working of governmental institutions like banks, Tribunals, offices, etc. The Supreme Court of India is now hearing cases through video conferencing from the confines of their homes. The authorities have also released thousands of prisoners from the jails to ease congestion in jails over coronavirus. Furthermore, this is one of the most challenging situations and so it will require the best of humanity to overcome.[11] The donations of people will support immediate and long-term relief and recovery in vulnerable communities. The virus cannot be defeated by the use of regular healthcare systems but it needs multi-national and multi-sectoral efforts. This is a pandemic and working in silos is not an option.

[1] World Health Organization, Coronavirus (2020) <> (May 15, 2020).
[2] id.
[3] Helen Davidson, Coronavirus Outbreak, The Guardian (Mar. 13, 2020).
[4] Aaron Kandola, Coronavirus cause: Origin and how it spreads, Medical News Today (Mar. 17, 2020).
[5] Nicole Wetsman, WHO declares the outbreak of the new coronavirus is a pandemic, The Verge (Mar. 11, 2020).
[6] How Covid-19 has affected the Global economy, The Indian Express (May 15, 2020).
[7] Rukshad Davar, How much economy will lose from Coronavirus and what to expect from economic relief package 2.0, Financial Express (May 4, 2020).
[8] Olaniyi Evans, Socio-economic impacts of novel coronavirus: The policy solutions, Research Gate (Mar. 2020).
[9] Bharat Vasani, COVID-19: Officially a Pandemic, Indian Corporate Law, Cyril Amarchandas Mangaldas Blog (Mar. 18, 2020)
[10] id.
[11] Maruf Islam Chowdhury, COVID-19 pandemic: Social awareness and our legal obligations as citizens, The Business Standards (Mar. 26, 2020).