Only 39% residents rate Kerala Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
- ● Kerala ranked 8th amongst 17 states of India
June 30, 2021, New Delhi: The 2nd wave of SARS-CoV2 that caused havoc in the months of April and May has tested the pulse of every State Government of the country and their efficiency to handle the outbreak vis-à-vis Governance. Just when the country had started to recover from the 1st wave of the pandemic, the COVID-19 and its variants started taking a toll at an unprecedented pace, from the highest 97,400 daily spike (September 10th, 2020) to less than 10,000 cases (1st week, February 2021), which then increased close to 47,000 (3rd week, March) and reached its peak to more than 412,000 cases (1st week, May 2021). The wailing sound of ambulances ferrying COVID patients for days and nights had been a routine at the time. Most hospitals in cities crumbled to provide adequate treatment to those patients waiting in line for the treatment due to an increase in cases. Even crematoriums in major cities ran out of space as bodies were brought for final rites. Overall, the 2nd wave of the pandemic has caused a devastating effect on India and its citizens that will be etched for many years to come.
From the daily COVID cases of around 2,000 cases during the end-February, Kerala started to experience a sudden surge in the test positivity rate that reached its peak on May 12 with 38,143 cases. Despite Kerala’s robust healthcare system, there was utter chaos across the city’s hospitals facing acute shortages of oxygen cylinders & concentrators, ventilator beds & ICU beds, Covid management medicines & test facilities, related supplies and equipment. Many hospitals in Kerala reported deaths due to lack of oxygen. At the time of distress, while caregivers were left with no option but to turn to the flourishing black market for oxygen and Remedesvir. Many citizens also reported violation of COVID protocol during campaign rallies for State elections as one of the reasons for the surge.
The Kerala Government under the leadership of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had to eventually impose full lockdown and restriction on public movement since May 8 to contain and mitigate the COVID spread across the state. In the aftermath of weeks of lockdown, the COVID-19 daily cases continue to record over 10,000 cases as of 2nd week of May, despite a decrease in test positivity ratio. However, there has been a slight increase in the availability of ICU beds and ventilators in both private and public hospitals, and the vaccination drive is in full swing.
In the aftermath of all the developments in 2 months period of the 2nd wave of COVID-19, LocalCircles has gone back to the citizens of Kerala asking them to rate their State Government’s performance on the overall handling of the 2nd wave of COVID-19. This allows both the broader citizenry and the Government to understand where things stand and what needs to be worked upon. This is vital to effectively handle the 3rd wave, which is likely to hit India in 6-8 weeks, as suggested by experts. Medical experts have warned about a new, more infectious Delta Plus variant and emphasised on the importance of continuing to wear a double mask, follow proper hygiene, and maintain social distance. The survey received 1,684 responses from residents of Kerala.
Only 39% Kerala residents rate Kerala Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
22% of citizens rated the performance of the Kerala Government’s handling (availability of testing, containment, hospital beds, oxygen, medicines, etc.) of the COVID 2nd wave as “very effective”, 17% said “effective”, and 33% said “somewhat effective”. 28% of Kerala residents surveyed rated the Kerala Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as “Ineffective”. None of the respondents rated the State’s handling of the COVID 2nd wave as a Total Failure. On an aggregate responses indicate that only 39% of Kerala residents rated the Kerala Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective. 1,684 responses were received on the survey.
Overall, the residents of Kerala after what they witnessed in the last 2-month period aren’t satisfied with the Kerala Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave in the state. This is evident with only 39% of Kerala residents rating the State Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective. As the Kerala Government works on getting ready to handle the 3rd wave, it is critical that all aspects starting from testing, containment, hospital beds availability, readiness to handle child cases of COVID, doctors and medical staff, equipment like ventilators, BIPAP machines, concentrators, medicines and all things COVID are available in sufficient quantities. Also, it is critical that information flow is significantly improved and centralised such that citizens call a single number and based on their condition, location, preferences, budget are assigned the right hospital. Similarly, it is key that the patient information dissemination is streamlined, and hospitals can communicate with the family on the patient’s current health condition in a timely manner.
Ranking of Indian States in handling 2nd Wave of COVID-19
Overall, findings of the LocalCircles’ survey indicate that Kerala ranked 8th amongst 17 states of India where 39% of residents have rated the Government of Kerala’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as high. The ranking of Indian states in handling the 2nd wave of COVID-19 indicate that Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh residents have rated their respective State Governments’ handling of COVID 2nd wave as high. Meanwhile, rating of Bihar and West Bengal were the lowest.
National Press ReleaseAs citizens rate their state Governments on COVID 2nd wave handling via LocalCircles, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh emerge at the top
The survey received 1684 responses from residents of Kerala. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.