Bloomberg

How covid upended 20 million lives in India's finance hub

An idle train stands on a platform at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai, on March 25, 2020. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Dhiraj Singh

When the bubonic plague arrived on ships in 1896, death and fear emptied half of Mumbai. Ensuing labor shortages devastated the city's cotton mills, the mainstay of the contemporary economy.

Although the coronavirus pandemic's toll has been much lower, there are grim parallels. Almost a million workers who built Mumbai's skyline -- from the Trump Tower to skyscrapers owned by global firms such as Blackstone Group on erstwhile mill land -- have fled to their native villages, short of money after a stringent government lockdown brought the economy to a standstill...

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