India saved more than 3.4 million lives through vaccination campaign, says report

India was able to save more than 3.4 million lives by undertaking the nationwide vaccination campaign at an unprecedented scale, stated a working paper by Stanford University and Institute for Competitiveness titled “Healing the Economy: Estimating the Economic Impact on India’s vaccination and related issues.”

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya released the paper while addressing the ‘The India Dialog’ session on the Economic Impact of Vaccination and Related Matters today. The paper examines the role of containment as a technique for avoiding virus spread. “The report in a detailed manner highlights the magnitude of the economic impact brought about by India’s key strategies against the Covid-19 crisis and how India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive helped save 3.4 million lives & contributed positively to the country’s economy,” the Union Minister said.

“I appreciate the efforts of the entire team of researchers & subject matter experts behind this report & urge everyone to go through it in order to understand the magnitude of economic impact brought about by our key strategies against the Covid-19 crisis,” Union Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya said in his tweet.

Three pillars of India’s strategy

The three pillars of India’s strategy— containment, relief package, and vaccine administration was elaborated in the Stanford study. It notes that controlling COVID-19’s spread, preserving livelihoods, and fostering virus immunity, these three actions were crucial in preserving lives and assuring economic activity.

The report remarkably notes of the robust measures at the ground level of various states and districts, like contact tracing, mass testing, home quarantine, distribution of essential medical equipment, revamping healthcare infrastructure, and constant coordination among stakeholders. The report marks that these measures not only helped in containing the spread of the virus but also in augmenting the health infrastructure. According to the working paper, the vaccination campaign yielded a positive economic impact by preventing the loss of US$ 18.3 billion.

Reiterating the necessity for strong cooperation among the stakeholders, Union Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya said that the government focused on augmenting health infrastructure in terms of Covid related beds, drugs, N-95, PPE kits, and medical oxygen, along with up-skilling human resources and deploying digital solutions such as eSanjeevani Telemedicine service, Aarogya Setu, Covid-19 India Portal, etc.

Highlighting the government initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY), the report also stated that 800 million people were provided free food grains in order to ensure food security during the pandemic. Furthermore, the report also noted the launch of PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan which aided in providing migrant workers with immediate job and livelihood possibilities. The scheme offered employment to 4 million beneficiaries, resulting in a total economic impact of US$ 4.81 billion.

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