Only 20% residents rate Bihar Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
- ● Bihar ranked 16th amongst 17 states of India where the survey was conducted
June 30, 2021, New Delhi: The 2nd wave of SARS-CoV2 that caused havoc in the months of April and May has tested the pulse of every State Government of the country and their efficiency to handle the outbreak vis-à-vis Governance. Just when the country had started to recover from the 1st wave of the pandemic, the COVID-19 and its variants started taking a toll at an unprecedented pace, from the highest 97,400 daily spike (September 10th, 2020) to less than 10,000 cases (1st week, February 2021), which then increased close to 47,000 (3rd week, March) and reached its peak to more than 412,000 cases (1st week, May 2021). The wailing sound of ambulances ferrying COVID patients for days and nights had been a routine at the time. Most hospitals in cities crumbled to provide adequate treatment to those patients waiting in line for the treatment due to an increase in cases. Even crematoriums in major cities ran out of space as bodies were brought for final rites. Overall, the 2nd wave of the pandemic has caused a devastating effect on India and its citizens that will be etched for many years to come.
From the daily COVID cases of below 100 during the end-February, Bihar started to experience a sudden surge in the test positivity rate that reached its peak on April 30 with a 15,858 single-day spike. As cases were rising, taking more lives every day, there was utter chaos across the city’s hospitals facing acute shortages of oxygen cylinders & concentrators, ventilator & ICU beds, Covid management medicines & test facilities, related supplies and equipment. Residents of Bihar experienced difficulty in finding RT-PCR tests, as well as delays in test results and getting hospital beds.At the time of great distress, while caregivers were running from pillar to post seeking aid for their dear ones infected with COVID, many also became the victim of black-marketing and scamming.
The National Democratic Alliance led Bihar Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had to eventually impose full lockdown and restriction on public movement since May 4, after pressure from the Patna High Court. In the aftermath of 2 months of lockdown, the COVID-19 daily cases have now come down steadily, and the test positivity ratio has also declined. There has also been an increase in the availability of ICU beds and ventilators in both private and public hospitals, and the vaccination drive is in full swing. With the dip in daily COVID cases, the State Government is now mulling to start unlocking in phases.
In the aftermath of all the developments in the 2 months of the 2nd wave of COVID-19, LocalCircles has gone back to the citizens of Bihar asking them to rate their State Government’s performance on the overall handling of the 2nd wave of COVID-19This allows both the broader citizenry and the Government to understand where things stand and what needs to be worked upon. This is vital to effectively handle the 3rd wave, which is likely to hit India in 6-8 weeks, as suggested by experts. Medical experts have warned about a new, more infectious Delta Plus variant and emphasised on the importance of continuing to wear a double mask, follow proper hygiene, and maintain social distance. The survey received 1,625 responses from residents of Bihar.
Only 20% Bihar residents rate Bihar Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
The question in the survey asked residents of Bihar, “How do you rate your state (Bihar) Government’s handling (availability of testing, containment, hospital beds, oxygen, medicines, etc.) of the COVID 2nd wave?” In response, only 20% said “effective”. 60% of Bihar residents surveyed rated the Bihar Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as “total failure”, and 20% said “Ineffective.” On an aggregate basis, only 20% of Bihar residents rated the Bihar Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective or higher. 1,625 responses were received on the survey.
Overall, the residents of Bihar after what they witnessed in the last 2-month period aren’t satisfied with the Bihar Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave in the state. This is evident with only 20% of Bihar residents rating the State Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective. As Bihar Government works on getting ready to handle the 3rd wave, it is critical that all aspects starting from testing, containment, hospital beds availability, readiness to handle child cases of COVID, Doctors and medical staff, equipment like ventilators, BIPAP machines, concentrators, medicines and all things COVID are available in sufficient quantities. Also, it is critical that information flow is significantly improved and centralised such that citizens call a single number and based on their condition, location, preferences, budget are assigned the right hospital. Similarly, it is key that the patient information dissemination is streamlined, and hospitals can communicate with the family on the patient’s current health condition in a timely manner.
Ranking of Indian States in handling 2nd Wave of COVID-19
Overall, findings of the LocalCircles’ survey indicate that Bihar ranked 16th amongst 17 states of India where 20% of residents have rated the Government of Bihar’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as high. The ranking of Indian states in handling the 2nd wave of COVID-19 indicate that Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh residents have rated their respective State Governments’ handling of COVID 2nd wave as high. Meanwhile, rating of Bihar and West Bengal were the lowest.
National Press ReleaseAs citizens rate their state Governments on COVID 2nd wave handling via LocalCircles, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh emerge at the top
The survey received 1625 responses from people residing in Bihar. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.