The on-going second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India is one of the worst that the world has seen. The country has been reeling under the devastation caused by crumbling healthcare system and lack of medical and oxygen supplies. That said, the dire situation is not uniform in all parts of the country with certain sub-national economies emerging as more resilient to the second wave. This week’s chart uses the COVID-19 resilience index scores calculated using the Bloomberg methodology as a basis and makes a comparison with ACI’s competitiveness ranking of India’s sub-national economies. The study finds that the more competitive sub-national economies are among the less resilient.
- More competitive and more COVID-19 resilient: The top-right region showcases the sub-national economies which are highly competitive and also resilient to the COVID-19 pandemic. The North-eastern economies of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, the Southern economies of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana and the Northern economies of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan fall within this category. The healthcare infrastructure in these sub-national economies is largely better than that of the others. We would like to highlight the case of Kerala which is one of the few sub-national economies that is the most competitive and also the most resilient. Its proactive response to the pandemic can be attributed to its successful handling of three crises during 2018 and 2019 and its robust healthcare infrastructure which provides free access to all
- Less competitive and more COVID-19 resilient: The top-left region, which consist of the least competitive but most resilient economies, is dominated by the North-eastern and Eastern economies such as Tripura, Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Odisha.
- Less competitive and less COVID-19 resilient: The bottom-left region features the economies which are the least competitive and also the most vulnerable to the pandemic. The Eastern economies of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh and the Northern economies of Uttarakhand and Punjab are a part of the group.
- More competitive and less COVID-19 resilient: The bottom-right region comprises the economies which although highly competitive are very vulnerable to the pandemic. The Western economies – Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, the Northern economies – Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh and the Southern economies – Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh form a part of this group. Maharashtra and Karnataka accounted for the highest number of active COVID-19 cases and deaths at the time of the study while Delhi had the second highest number of deaths despite having a moderate number of active cases. This indicates that although these Top competitive sub-national economies have very well-established economic systems and infrastructure in place, there exist certain vulnerabilities in their systems because of which they were under-equipped and unable to respond to the massive surge of cases in the second wave.