India’s Gross domestic product grew at a rate of 20.1% in the three-month period, compared with a record contraction of 24.4% in the same quarter a year earlier. However not every state has contributed to the same. Communist-ruled Kerala has most of the infections and fatalities with daily numbers often reaching more than 50% recorded covid cases in the country serving as a barrier to growth, while the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has successfully managed to combat the second wave of Covid-19.
Affected by the second wave, both Kerala and UP had imposed a complete lockdown on the state to control the spread of the deadly virus, however, after two months, the UP model could successfully combat the virus and get to normalcy with 0.02 per cent positivity rate due to proactive measures such as the aggressive ‘Trace, Test and Treat’ policy. However, the Kerala model still seems to be struggling. Kerala stands out as a unique case, perhaps because the chief minister who saw the second wave in other states had a false sense of belief that he had everything under control. So, ignoring the facts he decided to open up the economy on alternate days and failed to enforce social distancing adequately. Moreover, easing restrictions for celebrating Bakrid in Kerala has turned out to be a superspreader with 19,622 Covid-19 cases and 132 deaths contributing to the possible third wave, Kerala’s three days relaxation on Eid-al-Adha served as a curse to the Indian economy.
The economy of Kerala has suffered a loss of Rs 1,56,041 crore of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2020-21 with respect to Budget Estimate 2020-21, while The UP government received praise from the World Health Organisation for its efforts to contain the unprecedented second wave of the Wuhan coronavirus. Despite being the most populous state, under the Yogi-led government, it is pertinent to note that in the last fiscal year, Uttar Pradesh overtook Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Maharashtra to become the second-largest state of the country in terms of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog also praised Uttar Pradesh for its oxygen management. Taking to Twitter, the body tweeted, “A laudable model for oxygen transport & tracking! @UPGovt has established oxygen hubs & developed a dashboard -OxyTracker, through which tankers can be tracked in real-time. This allows quick & smart allocation of oxygen. Result-1000MT O2 being lifted instead of 250MT before!”
The current Covid-19 test positivity rate drops to 0.006 per cent in Uttar Pradesh while Kerala has failed to register any shortfall and has a TPR of 18.67 per cent. Moreover, in the last 24 hours, only 17 new cases have been reported in Uttar Pradesh while more than 30,000 new cases have been registered in Kerala, with India’s tally at 43,000.
The reason for UP’s fightback against the invisible enemy has been the astute preparedness under the Yogi Adityanth administration. As reported by TFI, the Yogi government in April had decided to deploy retired doctors, retired personnel of the armed forces and para-medical staff into service to counter the caseload. And it appears that the pre-emptive measures have started to pay dividends.
The Kerala government is trying to defend its stand by establishing narratives that the rise in number is due to the daily testing of nearly two lakh people. States like Telangana, Assam, have a similar population density as Kerala, but are testing one lakh people per day yielding a test positivity rate of 1 per cent and less. Kerala may be testing double the number under a reeling crisis but the test-positivity rate is as high as 16 per cent.
It’s high time that Communist Kerala accepts and shows some will to learn from the successful model of Yogi led Uttar Pradesh Government. The need of the hour is effective and visionary leadership, which unfortunately chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan is unable to provide. Kerala model proved to be an utter failure in combating the deadly virus and reviving the economy. The so-called intellectual cheerleaders of the Kerala model have fallen completely silent, thus it is clear that while Kerala was a decelerator in India’s post COVID growth, UP was clearly the accelerator.