INDIA’S STRATEGY TO COMBAT THE OUTBREAK OF NOVEL CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)By- Simran Bais
China v. India strategical action Can West follow the Model of China? China being an authoritative and communist country tried to cover the outbreak which was at the onset in the month of December but it was only after a month that the China started to describe its problem to the World Health Organisation. Later, it even tried to downplay the threat in order to avoid panic amongst its citizens and subsequently protecting the image of the communist government. When this eventually resulted into epidemic Chinese government woke up to address the cries of its citizens and it responded with a series of implementation of drastic measures which were labelled as authoritative and violation of basic rights. These drastic measures included lockdown of entire provinces such as Wuhan, it included imposition of strict penalties, it mandated the manufacturers to start manufacturing in masses the basic commodities like masks, sanitizer for the citizens, as a result of this drastic measures China managed to make a turnaround in its fight against COVID-19 and it was observed that a country which was having 800-900 number of cases per day has managed to bring down the threshold to Zero cases of local and community transmission which is a commendable turnaround for china which was made possible through the implementation of this drastic measures which was evidently possible due to centralised leadership and one party authoritarian rule which provides for top-down approach. Liberal democracy such as India, other western countries might find it difficult to immediately implement this drastic measures as it affects the basic rights of the citizens, as these rights form an indispensable part of the Constitution which is a grundnorm and these civil rights, liberties cannot be snatched away from the citizens as these form the core of the Indian democracy. These drastic measures are absolutely needed to control the spread of this contagious outbreak, the purpose is not to throw light on the authoritative or communist regime which China possess but to understand the centralised top-down approach of administration, which states that a centralised top-down approach to governance tends to be more efficient and effective in emergency situations of war, epidemics. India’s defensive Plan How to handle a crisis of Pandemic- Kerala Government Compared to other states in India; Kerala is better situated to deal with epidemics because it is successfully dealt with recent outbreaks of Nippah Virus, Avian Flu and COVID-19 mainly because of its preparedness and prioritizing public health care as compared to private health care. The Health Minister illustrate how a government responds to a health care challenge is driven by a factor of class divide in society when there was a plague outbreak in 1990s, the response of the Central and State government was very weak primarily because the disease was affecting only the rural areas and the urban slums, Health Minister also states that the Central and the State government do not respond to the health care challenges faced by the lower sections of the society which is reflected in the low budgetary allocation provided to Healthcare sector. As distinguished from the fact that when there is an epidemic situation or outbreak such as COVID-19 which is having its effect on the elite or the upper sections of the society, then the government swiftly jumps into action, this differentiation of the response of the government is a reflection of the class action society also considers the fact of giving low priority to the health care system of lower class. The Health Minister put forwards an argument stating that the India’s health care system has been inherently designed to favour the private health care at the cost of public health care. India’s over dependency on the private health care system has led to extract out of pocket expenditure and these increased expenditure can be borne only by the middle and the upper classes and not by the weaker sections. The Health Minister also states that if the government has to respond effectively to an epidemic then there has to be a fundamental shift towards the public health care and the government needs to make it sure that such public health care system is adequately prepared. The focal point should be the public health care system. Effective contact tracing system was also established, it has made it able to take strict action for those who violate the restrictions, it has establish an effective surveillance system for those people to track down who are the carriers of the infectious disease, thus decreasing the rate of transmission to a greater level. It has adequately trained healthcare workers at the local level who served as the backbone of the Kerala’s public healthcare system. Replication of the techniques of South Korea, China by Kerala of using Aggressive tracing and testing enables it to make the judicious use of the limited resources. As distinguished from China’s model, Kerala follows the pattern of decentralization of taking decisions at the local level, this along with the smart usage of technology to spread awareness and to track confirmed and suspected cases has enabled the Kerala government to successfully fight against the number of epidemic cases.