In Kerala, a southern Indian state, local officials have succeeded where the national government has failed in providing relief to coronavirus victims.
The state expanded oxygen production months before the second wave of the virus arrived. Coordination centres use data to direct patients and resources. Workers make sure that patients stick to their home quarantines and are able to get food and medicine. Its official death rate — though government data is lacking — is less than 0.4 percent, one of India’s lowest.
Although deaths are rising in Kerala, the state has consistently better managed the crisis than India as a whole. Throughout the pandemic, it has had more doctors, more testing and five times more hospital beds than the national average. Now, its vaccination rate is nearly double the national average of 3 percent. NYT
All this was possible because Kerala has a strong, robust and decentralised healthcare system built over the years. During any natural calamity — like floods, cyclone, landslides — and Covid, Kerala has the capability of setting up a Rapid Response Team in advance at the local level. From there the management is scaled up.