“Strict implementation of lockdown measures successfully reduced transmission of the virus affording the state critical time to establish clinical and public health functions,” concluded the study undertaken jointly by the state health department and department of international health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Titled ‘Preparation for and response to Covid-19 in a resource constrained setting—A case study from Uttar Pradesh’, the study noted that UP is well-prepared to guide, monitor, and control all operations needed for Covid-19 containment.
“Given its historically fragile public health system and large population, concerns were raised early that Covid-19 might ravage Uttar Pradesh once lockdown measures were lifted. Many in the state were particularly vulnerable to the secondary effects of the lockdown, such as decreased economic earnings and limited access to essential health services,” the study said.
Despite these challenges, Uttar Pradesh responded promptly with limited resources to address the Covid-19 epidemic, noted the researchers, which included additional chief secretary health and family welfare Amit Mohan Prasad.
The findings of the study primarily evaluated the preparation and early response to the pandemic in the phase beginning on January 30, 2020, when the first confirmed case was identified in India, to May 31, when many lockdown measures were lifted in Uttar Pradesh.
It also studied the management of the epidemic in the period thereafter: from June 1 when the restrictions were lifted to January 2021 when Covid-19 vaccination started in India.
Lauding UP CM for showing exemplary political leadership in the time of crisis, the study said: “The overall response to Covid-19 has been led by the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. These efforts were centrally coordinated by a committee known as Team 11 comprising senior bureaucrats representing diverse departments and chaired by the chief minister—indicative of a whole-of-government-approach.”