COVID 19 – Call in the Indian Army to Handle this Emergency

Dear Friends,

Let me start with the worst case scenario for India.

  • 60% of Indians get infected with Covid-19. Thats 78 crore people *
  • 5% of these are serious and need hospitalization. That’s 3.9 crore people. # We dont have so much healthcare capacity
  • 1% of the infected succumb to the infection. Thats 78 lakh people. #

However this is 2 months away from today, if it happens.

It is within our powers to prevent this from happening.

Even though the Indian govt. health dept. and administration is doing whatever it can to prevent this, it is grappling with several constraints:

  • Many people know Covid 19 by now, but they are not really changing behaviour to deal with it
  • The persons identified for isolation are not following orders and escaping / moving around freely, exposing others to the danger
  • At this stage the infection in India is at Stage 2 (local transmission – tracking and isolation of infected, contact tracing and isolation of potentials) and if not stopped, it moves to Stage 3 (community transmission – the virus is out of control and infects everyone who is not isolated) @
  • We also do not know the real number of infected people until we have sufficient Testing. My feeling is that people with symptoms are not being tested unless the govt. hospital doctor recommends this. And access to these doctors is not easy.

We suggest 2 solutions:

  • Call in the Indian Army with its 14 lakh highly trained people to inject discipline and boost Covid 19 administration in all states of India.
  • Start Testing for Covid 19 on a massive scale. All hospitals, private sector Diagnostic chains such as Dr Lal Pathlabs, Thyrocare, Metropolis Healthcare, etc may be allowed. I believe Health Ministry is enabling this, but can this be started today?

I’m hardly an expert on healthcare. But I understand compounding. The number of infected people are growing by compounding. I also understand probabilities. My estimate is that we now have a 50% probability of moving to Stage 3. Unless we do something about it NOW.

I also believe every country has the power to control this infection if it isolates itself and acts fast enough. South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore moved fast and were able to flatten the Infection curve and stay in Stage 2. See fig 1.

jainmatrix investments

Fig 1 – Source John Hopkins Univ. India is not in this as it had just crossed 100 infections on 13th Mar.

We also saw that China was able to deal with Covid-19 over 2-3 months due to a very tough administration and hard measures, easier to do in a communist system. Here in India the administration does not have command and punitive powers. They are also not geared up to do this. The Indian Army needs to be deployed to do this.

The Indian Army needs to work with the Health ministry, govt. hospitals and local administration, to monitor the airport screening, contact tracing, isolation facilities and govt. hospitals. The Isolated and infected people logistics, people security and healthcare supply chains have to be supported and enforced.

We have to fight Covid 19 before it becomes a national calamity. Its better to over-react early and prevent the problem than to react late.

Stay safe and healthy,

Punit Jain

PS – this has nothing to do with investing. But it affects all of us. I write this not to alarm people (this is a known danger) but request an urgent solution to a visible problem.

  1. * Germany is in stage 3 and has projected that this proportion of its people may get infected
  2. # These are stats available from China and few other countries in public domain
  3. @ Eco Times Article on 18/03


This document has been prepared by JainMatrix Investments Bangalore (JM), and is meant for use by the recipient only as information and is not for circulation. This document is not to be reported or copied or made available to others without prior permission of JM. It should not be considered or taken as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The information contained in this report has been obtained from sources that are considered to be reliable. However, JM has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the same. Punit Jain and JM has no ownership or known financial interests in any company mentioned in this note. Neither JM nor any of its affiliates, its directors or its employees accepts any responsibility of whatsoever nature for the information, statements and opinion given, made available or expressed herein or for any omission therein. Recipients of this report should be aware that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and value of investments can go down as well. The suitability or otherwise of any investments will depend upon the recipient’s particular circumstances and, in case of doubt, advice should be sought from an Investment Advisor. Punit Jain is a registered Research Analyst under SEBI (Research Analysts) Regulations, 2014. JM has been publishing equity research reports since Nov 2012. Any questions should be directed to the director of JainMatrix Investments at


Parag Parikh (61) passes away

This is a small tribute to Mr Parag Parikh, a veteran investor in Indian equities.

He died in a car crash in Omaha, USA, where he had gone to attend the annual shareholder meeting of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation.

Spanning several decades, his investing career was a marvel of independence and of taking the difficult but more satisfying path. He had a very contrarian view and rather than jump into the waves of new sectors and new ideas, he chose stocks based on a conservative and solid understanding of the firms financials and prospects. His choices of investments always incorporated safe and ‘worst case scenario’ thinking, which allowed him to ride through the many crashes in Indian markets in the 80s and 90s. He thus built up a loyal following of investors.

His investing company’s business model switched from Broking to Portfolio Management, to Mutual Fund, over his career as he navigated India’s changing regulatory and investing landscape. His investors were happy to follow him through these changes.

I have personally gained from his advise when I met him in August 2014. He was generous enough to help me with his ideas for me to grow my small investment company.

He has written a book called ‘Value Investing and Behavioral Finance’ which is a fine collection of wisdom and lessons from his career.

RIP Mr Parag Parekh.