Thursday, July 16, 2020

How To Reopen a Country of 1.3B People

As countries around the world try to emerge from lockdown it is becoming apparent that some countries are having a lot more success trying to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 cases than others. One country which faces a particular hard challenge is India.

Over 100 million people in India live in informal settlements. This means they live in conditions which are not conducive to social distancing and which provide challenges to healthy sanitation. Development Seed and Mapbox have collaborated on a story map which explores the difficulties of Reopening a Country of 1.38 Billion People.

Using data from a number of different sources the map shows how the Indian government's lockdown on March 24 was very effective in reducing movement in the country - but caused hardship to many migrant workers and huge damage to the Indian economy. At the beginning of May the government introduced zoning - placing each district in the country into one of three different zones with different levels of restrictions. Many of the severest containment zones are in informal settlements - placing the severest movement restrictions on the poorest people.

Development Seed's story map goes on to look at the dangers of reopening the country. It explores the experience of Bangalore where the numbers of Covid-19 cases quadrupled after the lockdown was eased. The city has therefore had to reimpose the local lockdown. It does appear that India in particluar is going to face many challenges while trying to emerge from lockdown.

For the very latest information and data on Covid-19 in India you should consult the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This government website provides information on the total number of cases and deaths from Covid-19 in India. It provides a more detailed breakdown of the total number of active cases in each state and the numbers of Covid-19 fatalities in each state. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also provides the latest travel advisory notices.

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