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 citizens were caged in the web of grief and misery wherein, even to see for the last time one’s loved ones who succumbed to the coronavirus became an act of privilege.
Focusing on the rural reality around the country during the pandemic, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, organised a panel discussion on ‘Rural Realities | Punjab and Haryana Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages’ on May 19, 2021.
This article is an excerpt of the presentation given by Tarishi Chaturvedi and the IMPRI team, who 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 panellists.
Haryana emerged as a separate State in the northern region of the Indian Republic on November 1, 1966. Chandigarh is the state capital, Faridabad in the National Capital Region (NCR) is the most populous city of the state, and Gurugram is a leading financial hub in the NCR. Haryana comprises 22 districts and 7,356 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 fifth 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.
During the first wave of Covid-19, Haryana managed the situation quite well. However, Haryana had a higher caseload than Punjab that began to increase after September 2020. If we look at the age-wise distribution, around 1% of Covid cases in the last wave in Haryana were of 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 that increased at a higher rate than that of Maharashtra during the same period. The five districts of Haryana with the highest case contribution were: Gurugram, Karnal, Panchkula, Kurukshetra and Ambala.
The government of Haryana imposed a lockdown on May 3, 2021, that was extended till May 24. If we look at the tracing trend, i.e. the average number of contacts traced per positive case, Nuh tops the list with 19.7 % cases, followed by Palwal, Hisar and Gurugram.
Looking at the data, we can say that the Gurugram district of Haryana tops in the vaccination coverage, having vaccinated around 10 lakh people so far.
The Nuh district of Haryana has the worst vaccination figure, with just 81,818 vaccine jabs administered till June 9. Haryana administered only 57.11 lakh doses till June 2, which is only 16% of the total target. There is acute shortage of oxygen, vaccines, medicines, manpower and medical supplies.
The state has been taking all necessary steps to minimise the impact of the second wave, and prepare for a third wave in moving towards a healthy and prosperous Haryana.
YouTube Video for An Overview of the Catastrophic Second Wave in Haryana
Contributors: Ritika Gupta, Sakshi Sharda, Ishika Chaudhary, Kashish Babbar, Tarishi Chaturvedi, Mahima Kapoor, Swati Solanki, Chhavi Kapoor, Arjun Kumar, and IMPRI Team