COVID-19 Pandemic and Challenges to India

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020, however first case of the disease was sensed as back as in the late December 2019 in Wuhan city of China. Since, then large number of people across the world got infected from the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in which more than lakhs of peoples have lost their life till date besides the loss of life it also affected the world economy very badly.
Since, it's vaccine/cure is not available and it is very likely that a proper cure will not be available before the end of the 2020, hence it can cause even more damage to mankind across the world.

How COVID-19 Spreads?

It spread through mainly two ways:- 
  1. Man-to-man Transmission- Through air-borne water droplet excreted by an infected person virus reaches to a healthy person and he/she get infected.
  2. Surface Transmission- When an infected person sneeze/spit the virus on a surface, and a healthy person comes in contact with that surface and then touches his nose, mouth or ear, then he  may also get infected.

Challenges Being Faced by India during COVID-19

1. Large Population

India has a very large population with very high density and a large number of people used to travel constantly from one place to another place mainly for livelihood due to which cities become over populated urban agglomerations such as Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, etc. All this make Indian population vulnerable to COVID-19 or any Pandemic.

2. Weak Health Infrastructure in the country

  • According to a study of 2011, only 20 health workers are available for 10,000 peoples in the country, comprising 31% allopathy doctors, 30% nurses and midwives, 11% pharmacists, 9% AYUSH practitioners and 9% are others. 
  • Besides this health workers distribution across the country is also very much unequal i.e. urban areas have more number of doctors while rural areas have very low density of health workers.
  • Most of these health workers are working in private hospitals even when majority of population are dependent on government healthcare facilities. 
  • Above all about 27% of doctors' posts in Primary Health Centres(PHCs) across the country are vacant. 
  • According to a Times of India(TOI) Report there are 7,13,986 beds in the Government hospitals throughout the country as on 26 march 2020, which means only 0.55 beds are available for every 1000 people and it becomes much more worse when we consider states like Bihar (where it is about 0.11 beds per 1000 population).
  • Lack of adequate in-house infrastructure in hospitals like Ventilators, Oxygen cylinders, Nebulizers etc.

3. Poor Public Hygiene/Sanitation

Despite much success of Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan(SBM), India still facing problems such as open spitting and sneezing which are the main carriers of the Coronavirus from one person to other.

4. Economic issues 

India facing many economic problems such as poor performing MSME sector, high public borrowing and defaults, weak budgetary management and large fiscal deficit, which makes India incapable of handling the pandemic as improving health infrastructure require large amount of money .
  • In a recent estimate of IMF, the projected GDP growth rate for India is (-4.5%) for the financial year of 2020-21.

5. Rumours and Fake News

People now a days going through a phase of rapid change in terms their source of information in which Social Media Platforms became more important than traditional News/Media networks. But these Social Media platforms are full of miscreants who constantly misguiding people through rumours and fake news. These rumours and fake news spread faster than COVID-19 virus and infecting the society, These created panic among the people of the country. Even some big media houses are also seen spreading hatred/fear among the masses in this pandemic situation.

Steps taken by the Government to handle COVID-19 pandemic

  • After 11 days of declaration of COVID-19  as a pandemic the GOI announced to lockdown the country to contain the spread of the pandemic. This proved quite beneficial especially after  considering the fact that, at that time, adequate testing and quarantine facilities were not present. Hence, if it was not done at that time, it might created havoc among the masses and could cause large number of deaths. Hence, lockdown provided time to government to prepare for the improvement in health infrastructure such as testing capacity, number of beds and ventilators as well as quarantine facilities.
  • Government tried to spread the awareness among the people about the benefits of social distancing measures. In continuation of which government launched Aarogya Setu App for public, so that people will be aware about any risky person around them. So, that safe distance can be maintained from such persons.
  • Improved testing facilities, so that large number of people can be traced and isolated which is key to containing the spread of the pandemic.
  • An economic package of more than 20 lakh crore rupees to help boost the MSME, Agriculture, small street vendors and migrant labourers (by increasing the funding to MNREGA) to help than sustain in this pandemic.


  • Despite all efforts  more than 10 lakh people are infected from the virus in India and reached in the list of top 3 countries having highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world with more than 33000 deaths due to the virus and still counting.
  • Government misjudged the pandemic in early days and hence preparation such as testing capacity and quarantine facilities were ot planned very well in early stages, which resulted in mass spread of pandemic especially after the Unlocking process started.
  • However the death due to COVID-19  started to falling down due to decline in the strength of the virus over time and improved testing facilities, which is helping in speedy and early detection of cases which reduces severity of the cases and hence lesser death toll.