The reason why big countries such as India are at a disadvantage in dealing with pandemics
By Mihir Sharma
India is now the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic. It ranks just behind the U.S. and Brazil in confirmed cases and is growing faster than either. The total rose 20% in just the last week, despite the fact that India is testing less than most of its peers.
It’s looking increasingly likely that India will wind up being the country with the most cases in the world. This is not just a function of its massive population; China, too, has over 1 billion people.
It is a reflection of the fact that big, diverse countries are at a disadvantage in dealing with pandemics.
Smaller nations such as New Zealand or Thailand can manage the flow of cases by shutting down their international borders. But internal borders are as porous in India as they are in the U.S. Imagine, for instance, how impossible it would have been for Europe to flatten its curve if it hadn’t suspended the Schengen agreement and fre m of movement for its 450 million people. Generally, officials in large nations are reduced to playing whack-a-mole: Even if they suppress an outbreak in Kerala or New York, chances are it will pop up somewhere else.
The pressure to “reopen” in such countries is also greater. Large nations do well economically because they have big, interdependent and diverse internal markets. Consequently, they can ill afford to have those supply chains broken for long. Unlike the U.S., India was quick to impose a proper nationwide lockdown — at great economic and human cost. Yet now the virus is spreading because people have to move across internal borders if the economy reopens even slightly.
That puts a premium on effective go nment. Keeping close track of such movements and of every little outbreak would require a centralized state with no shortage of spare capacity — ideally one already primed to spy on its own citizens, such as China’s.
For better or worse, no other big-nation go nment has similar abilities.
In the U.S., the pandemic has made the consequence of decades of misallocation and paralysis tragically clear. The American edifice of go nment has been hollowed out and its federal structure made unfit for purpose in a partisan and divided age. This ineffectiveness is reflected in data such as the World Governance Indicators, which has seen the U.S. decline steadily over the past two decades.
The world’s largest economy should not have a state that struggles to respond effectively to a crisis, even a once-in-a-century crisis. India’s state, on the other hand, has always been low on capacity. In fact, it’s a standard joke among policy analysts in India that any conversation about what needs to be done ends with the statement, “But we can’t do that anyway.” The state, at every level, is chronically short of managerial resources, of talent, of resources and of time.
Often, if it does one thing well, something else is shorted. Early on in the pandemic, Kerala received praise for how well it had limited the spread of the virus through vigorous contact-tracing. But, it turns out, the state devoted so much of its capacity to contact tracing that it failed to ramp up testing. Now state leaders have had to admit that cases are increasing through community spread.
Large countries with under-performing states need to shift approach swiftly. In Brazil, an uncooperative national leadership has already forced communities to turn to local organizations and transnational non-profits for help. Governments are going to have to treat NGOs and companies respectfully, as partners, if they want to have a chance of getting through this.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/p/50466.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
This is related to the quality and hygiene of citizens. Compared with East Asia, they have done a good job in epidemic prevention. Of course, you can lie to yourself and say that they are all fake! It's too hard to admit that others are better!
INDIA SHOULD FOCUS ON THESE 3 MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS...
- MAKE THE INDIAN RUPEE STRONG!!! (IT IS HARD TO FIGHT A PANDEMIC OR ANYTHING ELSE IF YOU HAVE A WEAK CURRENCY)
- INCREASE THE TAXPAYER BASE NOT TAX RATES!!! (ONLY 5% OF INDIANS PAY ANY TAXES RIGHT NOW. THAT NUMBER CAN EASILY BE TRIPLED IN THE 5 YEARS)
- MAKE POPULATION CONTROL A PRIORITY!!! (THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF RELIGION OR POLITICAL AFFILIATION. THE PANDEMIC IS A WAKE-UP CALL FOR EVERYONE ON THIS BEAUTIFUL EARTH THAT NATURE WILL NOT ALWAYS FORGIVE THE STUPIDITY OF HUMANS)
When we have a semi-literate at the helm of the country and who sole purpose is his self promotion, there is no cure or solution. It is a circus show going on. Today majority in India are struggling to get their next meal.
Use masks, socially distance, Use sanitizers and UVC sterilizers. Be smart and live well, Desis
plants can play an important role in filtering the viruses to a large extent. What is not understood the plants can withstand the attack of this notorious virus. Why this aspect is not researched?
What the illiterate Fake degree fans dont realize is Indias recovery rate is worse than most Asian countries. These Chuthiyas will always comapte to the worst and make some BS claims. Indias recovery rate is only same as Pakistan. Is that some achievement. Most Asian countries have better recovery than India like Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malayasia, Laos, Cambodia etc. But Feku has only spread the virus with his unplanned lockdown and now its gone from cities to UP, Bihar etc.
Dharavi infection spread wasnt controlled by "an innovative combination of privately staffed fever clinics, repurposed public infrastructure and manpower from non-go nmental organizations." it is a matter of record that 57% of the population had acquired immunity, so the conclusion can only be that it was "controlled" through herd immunity because everybody had already been infected despite the efforts of the authorities.
Do not compare between India and elder brother China and little bother Kerala models.
This is a biased article against India. Comparison with China is not at all proper as well known they do not give any data.
In Tamilnadu this is cured by Siddha.About 1050 beds are created in many districts and they are planning to have a Siddha cure center in every district
Manivannan S S
Judgement should be based on active cases rather than overall cases which is just keep adding. We have faster recovery rate and it is not as alarming as projected.
P N N
Doubling in 21days as of now it is not a rosy picture and flattening the curve only if doubling happens only 40days as per Indian medical expert.
India also has one of the highest cases of recovery from Covid, if we are going to judge the numbers from the official reports. City like Mumbai with one of the highest population for a city are reporting lesser active cases. This article is a bit biased by only reporting the total number of cases and ignoring all other data.
we need to increase and improve the medical infrastructure
In 1918, i.e. over 100 years ago, there was a colossal pandemic of ‘Spanish flue’. It created havoc on earth, killing tens of millions of people within months. However, human race of survived the onslaught, in spite of absence of computers, internet, mobiles and whatnot. . The health facilities were nonexistent; only those with good immunity survived.
Modiji's dream will come true! India will be No.1!!!
Mahila Utthan Samiti MUS
You're right. If the pandemic in India is not stopped, half the population will be COVID 19 , it means that 2% may die at actual rate, something like 1.4 crores.