Most districts in states like West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat are more vulnerable to Covid-19: study

NEW DELHI: Most districts in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, along with adjacent districts in Rajasthan and Maharashtra are more vulnerable, according to research by a nonprofit public health organization.

Highly vulnerable districts are those where COVID-19 is likely to spread rapidly, while remaining undetected for longer periods.

Moderate vulnerability to the virus is observed in the northern districts of Karnataka, eastern Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and eastern districts of Tamil Nadu, according to research by Swasti, which takes a closer look at the factors that cause certain geographies and communities are more vulnerable than others.

The districts of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and most districts in the northeastern states show relatively low vulnerability scores, according to the survey.

While Indians widely acknowledge the risk factors that apply to people, such as comorbidities and age, so far they have a limited understanding of other factors, at the community, demographic and/or environmental level, they may lead to greater risk of infection, Swasti said in a statement.

According to a global investigation, there are 15 indicators that affect the vulnerability of COVID-19 infection, that is, socioeconomic factors such as low levels of income or education, demographic factors such as population density and urbanization, health and hygiene variables such as levels anemia or the practice of hand washing. , and environmental dimensions that include temperature and relative humidity.

These variables, taken together, could account for 74 percent of the variation in vulnerability to infection, Swasti's study said.

After combating the scores for different variables, we arrived at a 'Vulnerability Index' score for each district. The vulnerability index highlights that there is a big difference between the number of cases reported and the real vulnerability of the communities in these districts, Dipankar said. Bhattacharya, Catalyst of Knowledge in Swasti, said.

The study suggests that most districts in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, and adjacent districts in Rajasthan and Maharashtra show high vulnerability scores.

Vulnerability index scores regardless of the number of cases reported clearly indicate that many districts are already in a precarious condition, according to the study.

Districts with the highest vulnerability scores are typically characterized by poor socioeconomic conditions, chronic poverty and weak health systems, he said.

The aim of the study is to minimize the impact of the pandemic and to do that it is critical that we use our understanding of relative vulnerability to complement the available data on exposure to infection, said Dr. Angela Chaudhuri, a partner at Swasti.

The research provides a footprint for risk mapping based on the vulnerability index, which is a useful measure to predict where being cautious is most critical and to protect and prioritize capacity building of the health system, Chaudhuri said.

The study was conducted by Dipankar Bhattacharya and Dr. Angela Chaudhuri with the support of Ismail Haque, PhD researcher, Center for the Study of Regional Development, and Rhea John, Learning Catalyst in Swasti.