Only 43% residents rate Uttarakhand Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
- ● Uttarakhand ranked 6th amongst 17 states of India where the survey was conducted
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 below 100 during the end-February, Uttrakhand started to experience a sudden surge in the test positivity rate that reached its peak on May 7 with a 9,642 single-day spike.As cases were rising, there was utter chaos across the state’s hospitals facing acute shortages of oxygen cylinders & concentrators, ventilator & ICU beds, Covid management medicines & test facilities, related supplies & equipment. Testing was limited across the state, especially in Haridwar where the Kumb Mela took place despite a surge in cases. Small district hospitals with little to no medical infrastructure made caregivers of the patients travel long distances to seek adequate treatment.
The Bhartiya Janata Party-led Uttrakhand Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat imposed full lockdown and restriction on public movement since May 9 to contain and mitigate the COVID spread across the state. In the aftermath of over a month of lockdown, the COVID-19 daily cases came down to 300-500 during the 2nd week of May, with a decline in test positivity ratio. There has also been an 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 of the 2nd wave of COVID-19, LocalCircles has gone back to the citizens of Uttarakhand asking them to rate their State Government’s performance on the overall handling of the outbreak. 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 736 responses from residents of Uttarakhand.
Only 43% Uttarakhand residents rate Uttarakhand Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
The question in the survey asked residents of Uttarakhand , “How do you rate your state (Uttrakhand) Government’s handling (availability of testing, containment, hospital beds, oxygen, medicines, etc.) of the COVID 2nd wave?” In response, 14% of citizens said “very effective” and 29% said “effective” while 14% said “somewhat effective”. 14% of Uttrakhand residents surveyed rated the Uttrakhand Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as a “Total Failure” while 29% said “ineffective.” On an aggregate basis, only 43% of Uttrakhand residents rated the Uttarakhand Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective or higher. 939 responses were received on the survey.
Overall, the residents of Uttarakhand after what they witnessed in the last 2-month period aren’t satisfied with the Uttarakhand Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave in the state. This is evident with only 36 % of Uttarakhand residents rating the State Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective. As Uttarakhand 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. The Ministry of Family and Family Welfare issued Guidelines on Operationalization of COVID care centres for children and adolescents which provides States with guidance about additional requirements for infrastructure, equipment and manpower. Given the imminent 3rd wave and the Delta variant, which has been declared a variant of concern earlier this week, Uttarakhand should focus on taking action and perform better in the imminent 3rd wave, which is likely to hit India in 6-8 weeks if COVID protocol is not followed.
Ranking of Indian States in handling 2nd Wave of COVID-19
Overall, findings of the LocalCircles’ survey indicate that Uttarakhand ranked 6th amongst 17 states of India where 43% of residents have rated the Government of Uttarakhand’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 939 responses from people residing in Uttrakhand. 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.