BY SFOORTI MISHRA
New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) At a time when India is locked down for the next 21 days starting Wednesday to break the chain of coronavirus transmission, there are hypothetical — though valid questions — “what if” and “what now”. The answers could take us further: how prepared is India to tackle an evolving situation such as the one presented by the pandemic novel coronavirus?
Countries across the world are reviewing their healthcare systems at a time when the global coronavirus death toll has climbed past 6,000 and the disease has impacted over three lakh people globally.
According to Global Health Security (GHS) Index 2019, India stood at 57th position in preparedness of a pandemic. A total of 195 countries have been ranked in the GHS index on a scale of 0 to 100 based on preparedness of the healthcare sector to deal with the pandemic. The 100 is the highest level of preparation.
The ranking was based on indicators such as prevention, detection, reporting, rapid response, health system, compliance with international norms and risk environment. These are further divided into indicators such as laboratory systems, realtime surveillance and reporting, emergency preparedness and many more.
India’s overall Index score is 46.5. The country got 34.9 out of 100 in prevention of an epidemic. The average score for any country for this factor is 34.9. While in detecting and reporting the disease, India got 47.4 out of 100, the average score for this indicator is 41.9.
The country scored 52.4, while the average for this factor is 38.4. In Health System, the country received 42.7 for which an average score is 26.4 out of 100. On compliance with international norms, India scored 47.7 and the average for this factor is 48.5.
In risk environment category, India scored 54.4. The average score for this category is 55. While India is at number 57 with 46.5 over all Index score, the neighboring country Pakistan stands at 105th rank in 195 countries with overall Index score 35.5, Nepal is at 111th rank with index score of 35.1. Bangladesh stands at 113th rank with 35 average index score out of 100. Bhutan is at 85th rank among 195 countries. Myanmar scored 43.4 in overall sore and 72nd rank while Sri Lanka stood at 120th rank among 195 countries with overall Index score 33.9, according to 2019 Global Health Security Index.
The number one position was occupied by the United states with 83.5 overall index score. Number two is United Kingdom (77.9) and three is the Netherlands with 75.6 index score out of 100.
Dr. Indira Nath, former Senior Professor and Head, Department of Biotechnology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, is one of the scientists involved in compilation and analysis of the report. The 2019 Global Health Security Index includes research for 195 countries.
The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted the research for this Index through a combination of qualitative assessments of publicly available country information and examinations of existing quantitative data sets.
(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)