New Delhi: India was able to save more than 3.4 million lives by undertaking a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign at an unprecedented scale, said a report by Stanford University.
Analysts say the COVID-19 tally could have reached about two lakh (0.2 million) without lockdown by April 11, 2020.
The Covid vaccination campaign yielded a positive economic impact by preventing a loss of USD 18.3 billion, the working paper by Stanford University and Institute for Competitiveness titled ‘Healing the Economy: Estimating the Economic Impact on India’s Vaccination and Related Issues’.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya released the report on February 24. He virtually addressed the ‘The India Dialog’ session on the Economic Impact of Vaccination and Related Matters.
The Union Minister also stated that India adopted a ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole of Society’ approach in a proactive, preemptive and graded manner to effectively manage Covid-19.
Mansukh 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 to focus dedicatedly on various facets of the pandemic management were put in place.
Due to lockdown measures, the actual cases only went up to about 7,500 by April 11, 2020, making the case for the lockdown stronger. The imposition of the lockdown also avoided two million deaths.
“India under the leadership of honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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 paper also highlighted the impact of the lockdown and referred to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s statistical analysis that the COVID-19 tally could have reached about two lakh without the lockdown by April 11, 2020.
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.
It further mentions that 1,00,000 lives were saved due to the lockdown (March-April), according to the Economic Survey (2020-21), and a COVID-19 tally of 2,00,000 if there was no lockdown and containment by April 11, 2020.
“India was able to save more than 1,00,000 lives through the lockdown in March-April 2020. Moreover, the country took around 175 days to reach the peak from its first 100 cases while most countries reached their first peak in less than 50 days (Russia, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, etc.),” the report said.