A new report released by Stanford University on Friday showed that India was able to save more than 3.4 million lives through the COVID-19 vaccine strategy implemented during the deadly pandemic.
At a virtual event, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandiya released the working paper titled ‘Healing the Economy: Estimating the Economic Impact on India’s Vaccination and Related issues’ by Stanford University and Institute for Competitiveness.
The ‘The India Dialog’ virtual session on the Economic Impact of Vaccination and Related Matters was organised by Institute for Competitiveness and US-Asia Technology Management Center, Stanford University.
The paper also highlighted that the vaccination drive yielded a positive economic impact by preventing a loss of $18.3 billion to India’s economy. A net benefit of $15.42 billion occurred for the nation after considering the cost of the vaccination campaign.
While discussing the role of containment as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus, the paper featured examples like ‘Bhilwara’, ‘Dharavi’, and ‘Kerala’ “as reference points of a successful containment strategy.
The report noted,”.. wherein it can be deduced that containment can bring about maximum effect with the delegation of power to the local level, quick response action, constant coordination among stakeholders, and roping in technology to enhance the delivery of services and real-time record keeping.”
Mansukh emphasised that the drive focused on equitable coverage for all, hence vaccines were provided free of cost to all citizens, he added.
According to the report, robust measures at the ground level, such as contact tracing, mass testing, home quarantine, distribution of essential medical equipment, revamping healthcare infrastructure, and constant coordination among stakeholders at the centre, state, and district levels, not only helped contain the spread of the virus but also in augmenting the health infrastructure.
Hailing the Indian government’s timely lockdown, the report noted that around 100,000 lives were saved due to the lockdown (March-April), further adding that the Covid-19 tally could have reached about two lakh (0.2 million) without lockdown by April 11, 2020.
The paper also included featured schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Garb Kalyan Ann Yojana, and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan, for ensuring free food grains distribution to 800 million people and employment generation for 4 million people respectively.
Lauding the Modi government’s relentless efforts, Mansukh said, “With a mission mode approach for vaccination, India launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive on 16th January 2021, and till now we have administered more than 2.2 billion doses with 97 per cent 1st dose coverage and 90 per cent 2nd dose coverage of eligible beneficiaries.”