Ritika Gupta, Swati Solanki, Sakshi Sharda, Ishika Chaudhary, Arjun Kumar
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected Indian states and Union Territories and Haryana has been no exception. Due to issues like lack of infrastructure and human resources, both rural and urban people were caged in the web of grief and misery wherein even to see one’s loved one last time who succumbed to Coronavirus became an act of privilege.
Focusing on the Rural Realities around the country during the pandemic, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS)and IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities | Punjab and Haryana Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on 19 May 2021.
This article is an excerpt of the presentation given by Tarishi Chaturvedi and the IMPRI team which provided an overview of the COVID-19 situation in India with special reference to Haryana to set the context for the broader discussion on the topic by the esteemed panelists.
Haryana emerged as a separate State in the northern region of the Indian Republic on 1st November 1966. Chandigarh is the state capital, Faridabad in National Capital Region (NCR) is the most populous city of the state, and Gurugram is a leading financial hub of the NCR. Haryana comprises 22 districts and 7356 villages.
About 65% of the state population resides in rural areas. The state stands 18th in terms of the progress made in Sustainable Development Goals and 5th in terms of per capita income. The state has a sex ratio of 879, which is less than the national average, and a Literacy Rate of 76% which is more than the national average.
COVID-19 Second Wave
During the first wave of COVID-19, Haryana had managed the situation quite well. However, Haryana had a higher caseload than Punjab which began to increase after September’2020. If we look at the age-wise distribution, around 1% of cases in the last wave in Haryana were children.
During the Second Wave, the number of active cases from February’ 21 to April’21 observed a 10-fold jump in Haryana. Data reveals that Punjab, Delhi, and Haryana experienced active Covid-19 cases increasing at a higher rate than Maharashtra between February and April. The top 5 districts with the highest case contribution are Gurugram, Karnal, Panchkula, Kurukshetra, and Ambala.
If we look at the tracing trend i.e., an average number of contacts traced per positive case, Nuh tops the list with 19.7 % cases, followed by Palwal, Hisar, and Gurugram.
The government of Haryana imposed a lockdown starting from 3rd May 2021 which was extended till 24th May 2021. Looking at the data, we can say that the Gurugram district of Haryana tops in the vaccination coverage with around 3.63 lakh people vaccinated.
Nuh district has the worst figures with just 31 thousand being inoculated. Haryana has 99,252 doses as per the figures by the Health Ministry. There is acute oxygen shortage, vaccine shortage, shortage of medicines, manpower, and other medical supplies.
The state has been taking all the necessary steps to minimize the impact of the second wave and prepare for a third wave in moving towards a healthy and prosperous Haryana