Sikkim Least Vulnerable To COVID-19, Reveals Study

July 22, 2020

Sikkim is least vulnerable to COVID-19, whereas Madhya Pradesh Bihar and Telangana, are most susceptible to the virus spread, revealed a study in the medical journal The Lancet.

According to the study, states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha, and Gujarat are highly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the research, the researchers took multiple factors into account which included vulnerabilities in socio-economic, demographic, housing and hygiene, and epidemiological strata.

"COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in India and other parts of the world," The Week reported quoting the study findings.

"Despite the Indian government's efforts to contain the disease in the affected districts, cases have been reported in 627 (98 per cent) of 640 districts," the study further noted.

"Some states were much more susceptible than others," it further added.

"As of June 17, 2020, there are eight states in India that have contributed to over 80 per cent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country," the study noted.

"Maharashtra (33 per cent), Delhi (14 per cent), Tamil Nadu (13 per cent), Gujarat (5 per cent), Rajasthan (7 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (4 per cent) West Bengal (3 per cent), and Madhya Pradesh (3 per cent). Of these eight states, five states had a high overall vulnerability index value (ranging from 0.771 to 1.000), and the remaining three had medium vulnerability (ranging from 0.514 to 0.686)," it further added.

It may be mentioned here that a total of nine states with an overall vulnerability index over 0ยท75 mostly ran mostly through the centre of the country.

From West Bengal in the east to Gujarat in the west, the states with high vulnerability included Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra.

"Most of these states have high vulnerability according to several individual domains," the study said.

"As many as 14 states and union territories had a vulnerability index lower than 0.4, one from the north (Himachal Pradesh), five union territories (Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, and Lakshadweep), five from the northeast region (Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, and Meghalaya), one from the west (Goa), one from the south (Kerala), and Chhattisgarh from the central region," the study added.

"Although our intention was not to predict the risk of infection for a district or a state, we observed similarities between vulnerability and the current concentration of COVID-19 cases at the state level," the researchers further noted in the study.

Adding further the study said, Madhya Pradesh had an overall vulnerability score of one, making it the most vulnerable, and Sikkim on the other end had a score of zero, deeming it the least vulnerable

Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were two other states on the lower overall vulnerability end of the scale.

The study aimed to provide a tool to identify districts that are vulnerable to the consequences of the coronavirus infection, including spread, morbidity and mortality and social and economic consequences.

"India faces the threat of a serious COVID-19 outbreak that would have far-reaching consequences due to its large population but also for other reasons, including challenges in practising social distancing, densely populated urban areas, non-universal access to water and soap for handwashing, a large number of people with chronic morbidities, a substantial proportion of the population living below the poverty line, and a large number of migrant workers who move from one state to another for their livelihoods," the study further said.

"According to data from the Indian government, more than 80 per cent of confirmed cases in India are asymptomatic, making the population vulnerable to community spread of the virus," it added.

"Although the epidemic appears to be concentrated in more affluent and industrialised districts, with millions of migrant workers from these areas moving to their home districts after the lockdown eased, it is only a matter of time before the virus spreads to the rural hinterlands of India," the study stated further.

State/Union TerritoryVulnerability to COVID-19
Arunachal Pradesh0.029
Himachal Pradesh0.057
Daman and Diu0.114
Andaman & Nicobar0.143
Tamil Nadu0.571
Jammu & Kashmir0.714
Andhra Pradesh0.714
West Bengal0.829
Uttar Pradesh0.886

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