A recent report by Stanford University revealed that India saved more than 3.4 million lives by undertaking a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive at an unprecedented scale.
On Friday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya released the working paper by Stanford University and Institute for Competitiveness, which also stated that the Covid vaccination campaign generated a positive economic impact by preventing a loss of USD 18.3 billion.
The report is titled ‘Healing the Economy: Estimating the Economic Impact on India’s Vaccination and Related Issues.’
Pandemic management much before WHO declaration
Mandaviya said that much before COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) in January 2020, processes and structures were put in place to focus dedicatedly on various facets of the pandemic management.
He virtually addressed the ‘The India Dialog’ session on the Economic Impact of Vaccination and Related Matters.
“India under the leadership of honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji adopted a ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole of Society’ approach in a proactive, preemptive and graded manner, thus adopting a holistic response strategy for effective management of COVID-19,” the minister said.
The dialog was organised by Institute for Competitiveness and US-Asia Technology Management Center, Stanford University.
Health infrastructure expansion due to robust measures
The paper discusses the role of containment as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus. It highlights that, as against the top-down approach, a bottom-up approach was critical in containing the virus.
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Moreover, the report remarkably notes that robust measures at the ground level, like contact tracing, mass testing, home quarantine, distribution of essential medical equipment, revamping healthcare infrastructure and constant coordination among stakeholders at the centre, state and district levels not only helped contain the spread of the virus but also in augmenting the health infrastructure.
It elaborates on the three cornerstones of India’s strategy — containment, relief package and vaccine administration.
It observes that these three measures were critical in saving lives and ensuring economic activity by containing the spread of COVID-19, sustaining livelihoods and developing immunity against the virus.
Impact of lockdown highlighted
The paper also highlighted the impact of the lockdown and referred to the health ministry’s statistical analysis that the Covid-19 tally could have reached about two lakh (0.2 million) without lockdown by April 11, 2020.
Due to lockdown measures, the actual cases only went up to about 7,500 by April 11, 2020, making a case for the lockdown stronger.
(With inputs from PTI)
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