Policy Engagements and Blogs

The Coronavirus Pandemic: How Prepared is India?

30 March 2020
The Coronavirus Pandemic: How Prepared is India?


Listen to the 33rd episode of ThoughtSpace (above) featuring Dr Jishnu Das and Yamini Aiyar, discussing the coronavirus outbreak.

As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian government responded to the threat by imposing an unprecedented 21-day lockdown. The lockdown’s stated objective is to buy time to slow the spread of the disease and ‘flatten the curve’, a phrase that everyone is all too familiar with now. But what does flatten the curve mean for India? Is a complete lockdown the ideal way to go about it? And how can our already strained health systems prepare for a widespread outbreak, if we do experience one in the coming weeks?

In this podcast, Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, speaks with Dr Jishnu Das, Senior Visiting Fellow, CPR and professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy and the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Dr Jishnu Das’s work focuses on the delivery of basic services, and his in-depth research on India’s health systems makes him the ideal person to talk us through the challenges our health systems face as the Covid-19 outbreak unfolds over the next few months.

He recommends the adoption of a well thought out testing strategy along with widespread availability of testing, collaboration to get better data, and preparation of our health systems make it agile and draw on the entire gamut of health infrastructure in India – including informal providers, private doctors, and government doctors.

This is the first in a series of episodes we will be doing on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. Stay tuned for updates. You can read more on Jishnu Das’s work here.