Only 47% residents rate Maharashtra Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
- ● Maharashtra ranks 4th 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 around 6,000-8,000 during the end-February, the test positivity rate in Maharashtra reached its peak on April 18 with a 68,631 single-day spike. Maharashtra recorded more Covid cases in the first 72 days of the 2nd wave than in the last 11 months of 1st wave. Almost 70% of these cases recorded in April were from Tier II, Tier III cities and villages. While the “Mumbai Model” was effective in controlling the spread of the virus, many districts outside Mumbai continued to struggle. The state’s positivity rate was 25.17% in the end-April, however, some districts recorded TPR as high as 36-38% in that period. Many citizens had to travel long distances to gain access to medical assistance in Mumbai. The lack of awareness about COVID-19 testing and treatment in rural areas compounded the problem because families delayed treatment and hospitalisation till the patient’s condition was severe. 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 beds, ICU beds, Covid management medicines, COVID test facilities, related supplies and equipment. Many also became the victim of black-marketing and scamming, with Remdesivir being sold in the black market for as high as INR 30,000 to 40,000 per vial to desperate families of Covid-19 patients. On April 15, relatives & families of COVID-19 patients in Pune on Thursday staged a sit-in protest outside Collector's office demanding to avail of the anti-viral drug.
The Maharashtra Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had to eventually impose full lockdown and restriction on public movement since April 22 to contain and mitigate the COVID spread across the state. In the aftermath of weeks of lockdown in the financial capital of India, the COVID-19 daily cases have now come down steadily to 10,000-11,000 during the 2nd week of May, along with a decline in test positivity rate, however, Covid fatalities continue to remain high. There has been an increase in the availability of ICU beds and ventilators in both private and public hospitals.
In the aftermath of all the developments in the 2 months period of the 2nd wave of COVID-19, LocalCircles has gone back to the citizens of Maharashtra asking them to rate their State Government’s performance in the overall handling of the 2nd wave of COVID-19. This 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. Maharashtra’s Covid Task Force has warned that the 3rd wave could hit Maharashtra even sooner, as early as in 2-4 weeks. 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 close to 4,162 responses from people residing in Maharashtra.
Only 47% Maharashtra residents rate Maharashtra Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective
The question in the survey asked, “How do you rate your State (Maharashtra) Government’s handling (availability of testing, containment, hospital beds, oxygen, medicines etc) of the second wave?” In response, only 16% said “very effective” and 31% said “effective.” Breaking down the poll, 25% said “somewhat effective,” 13% said “ineffective” and 11% said “total failure” while 4% couldn’t say. The survey received 4,162 responses. The aggregate response indicates that only 47% Maharashtra residents rate Maharashtra Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective.
Overall, the residents of Maharashtra after what they witnessed in the last 2-month period aren’t satisfied with the Maharashtra Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave in the state. This is evident with only 47% of Maharashtra residents rating the State Government’s handling of COVID 2nd wave as effective. As Maharashtra 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. It is also important to do so in a timely manner, since the 3rd wave may hit Maharashtra sooner than other states. The State is predicted to have increase more than the 2nd wave due to the Delta Plus variant. 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 Maharashtra ranked 4th amongst 17 states of India where 47% of residents have rated the Government of Maharashtra’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 4162 responses from people residing in Maharashtra. 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.