India’s Lockdown: An Interim Report

Debraj Ray, S. Subramanian

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Authors’ Note, May 2021. The first version of this paper was published in May 2020 as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, and a subsequent version was published in The Indian Economic Review, a few months later, in September. At the time of publication, the Covid-19 case trends had just started their (transitory) downward trend, one that persisted well into the early part of 2021. That decline was puzzling to many, and almost certainly due to collective precautions taken by a large fraction of Indian citizens. For it was quite unclear, even then, that India’s 2020 lockdown had achieved little else but a sense of real awareness among a large (but alas, not universal) section of the public. Once that public guard was let down, as it was bound to be in the afterglow of the Government’s ill-timed and ill-advised celebratory air, the lack of anything else-expanded medical capacity, widespread vaccine capabilities, oxygen supplies, tracking and tracing facilities-became all too shockingly obvious. This report is based on several scattered items of information in an environment of relatively scanty hard data, regarding an event-in-progress. The objective is to put together, as an “interim report, " some of the work being done by journalists and scholars, in the expectation that some overall picture will begin to emerge regarding India’s efforts to come to terms with the pandemic. We thank Bishnupriya Gupta, Rajeswari Sengupta, and Lore Vandewalle for helpful comments. Our efforts are dedicated to the memory of Hari Vasudevan: eminent historian, wide-ranging scholar, the gentlest of souls, who left us all too soon. Hari died in Kolkata of Covid-19 on May 10, 2020.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Impact of COVID-19 on India and the Global Order
    Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Approach
    PublisherSpringer Nature
    Number of pages51
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811684722
    ISBN (Print)9789811684715
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)

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