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All You Need To Know About IIT-Kanpur Study 'Covid War, UP Model' Led By Prof Manindra Agrawal

·4-min read

A research study, 'Covid War, UP Model' conducted by IIT-Kanpur and led by Prof Manindra Agrawal, was released by CM Yogi Adityanath on 11 October.

The study praises the UP Model for Covid-19 control and says the pandemic has reached an endemic stage in the state.

Here are the highlights of the study.

Research conducted by IIT-Kanpur—led by Prof Manindra Agrawal—praised Uttar Pradesh's methodology of Covid-19 control.

The study, which was released by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently at an event in Lucknow, noted that Covid-19 spread was reduced in the most populous state through continuous, organised and coordinated actions.

The lead author of the study Prof Agrawal wrote in the research paper that during the second wave of Covid-19, the majority of Indian states used the mixed strategy with various combinations. According to him, it is difficult to assess the success of these techniques because no one knows what would have happened if a different strategy had been utilised.

“This is where the mathematical model for disease progression is helpful since it permits the simulation of different strategies allowing one to compare them,” Prof Agrawal wrote.

The research was conducted using SUTRA, a mathematical model intended to forecast the pandemic's path. The study begins with a brief overview of the global and Indian pandemics, followed by a description of the SUTRA model.

The study sheds light on the initiatives taken by the state administration to lessen the impact of the economic crisis on nearly 40 lakh migrant workers who were relocating. It also commends the Yogi government for employing migrant labour.

According to the study – Covid War, UP Model – during the peak of the crisis, UP's thorough audit saved 30MT oxygen every day. It says that UP was the first state to airlift empty oxygen tankers with IAF assistance to speed up turnaround time. The state government also provided free bus services for returning workers and ambulance assistance for those who became ill.

The study noted: "Our analysis shows that the steps taken were quite successful: Return of migrant workers was managed so that they do not cause spread of the pandemic in their native places. Restrictions on movements and containment zones reduced the speed of spread by a factor of two thereby reducing the peak of infections by the same factor. Also, these measures were timed just right."

The study noted that “despite being the most populous Indian state, UP augmented the ‘Test, Track and Treat’ approach to ‘Test, Track, Treat and Tackle’ approach”.

The state has the greatest number of Covid tests in the country, with roughly 6.6 crore, the study said. It also highlighted the fact that healthcare personnel were inspired by a 25 per cent pay rise as honoraria, as well as complete insurance packages. Additionally, the research report said a noteworthy accomplishment was assuring the safety of containment zones while sustaining economic operations within them, reducing the economic and livelihood impact.

According to Times of India, while talking about the study, the UP CM said: “Despite facing numerous challenges such as a huge population, lack of resources and reverse migration of workers, UP’s pandemic response is serving as a ‘model’ for various states and even countries.”

However, according to the study, Covid-19 has reached an endemic status in UP. It said: "Since the past two months, daily new infections in the state have been consistently below 100 — a clear indication that the pandemic has reached endemic stage in the state.”

“Large-scale vaccination has accelerated this process, with the state recently crossing 10 crore vaccine dosages. In contrast, states like Kerala and Maharashtra reporting more than 10,000 and 2,500 infections per day respectively are still grappling with the pandemic," the study added.

The team of experts, headed by Prof Agrawal, also recommended some strategies keeping the current situation and the possibility of a third wave in mind. It said that following the success of its second-wave plan, UP should avoid harsh lockdowns in the future as well.

However, it suggested that at the same time, continual monitoring in all districts is required to detect the emergence of a new, faster-spreading mutant on time. According to the study: “This can be done by estimating the value of parameter β for every district and in case a significant rise is observed, using genome sequencing in the district to identify the cause for the same.”

The researchers suggested that in the long run, the practice of PHCs maintaining patient information should be continued. According to the study, this will allow the government to identify illness outbreaks and take preventative measures.

“Data collection on migrant workers and their expertise may be maintained in future too. It will help identifying available expertise when a requirement arises,” the study stated.

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