How India is Managing COVID-19 in 2022

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We answer FAQs on how India is managing COVID-19 in 2022 – vaccination rates, vaccines available, national booster policy, and best practices for employers.

Now in its third year, the COVID-19 pandemic sees India more prepared – in terms of planning for logistics and emergencies and having a robust vaccination program in place – though the stress to healthcare infrastructure and business disruption is unavoidable.

In this article, we provide the latest COVID-19 caseload updates released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The state-wise data tracks COVID outbreaks in the major industrial states and commercial hubs in the country. Lastly, we discuss some best practices for companies during this extended period of COVID-linked disruption.

COVID cases in India and total vaccination (Jan.7, 2022, 08:00 IST)

Date

Active cases

Discharged cases

Deaths

Total vaccination

January 7, 2022

371,363

34,371,845

483,178

1,496,681,156

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

COVID-19 caseload across some states in India – as on January 7, 2022, 08:00 IST (GMT+5:30) 

Region

Active cases*

Cured/discharged/migrated*

Deaths

Total

Change since previous day

Cumulative

Change since previous day

Cumulative

Change since previous day

Andhra Pradesh

2266

418↑

2062157

128↑

14500

1↑

Assam

4036

710↑

613120

132↑

6176

2↑

Delhi

31498

8191↑

1432838

6900↑ 

25127

6↑

Gujarat

14346

3352↑

820383

860↑

10127

1↑

Punjab

6687

2253↑

587753

121↑

16662

5↑

Haryana

7935

1876↑

763694

801↑

10067

1↑

Karnataka

22202

4759↑ 

2962043

271↑

38358

1↑

Madhya Pradesh  

2475

931↑

783386

102↑

10535

 

Maharashtra

118549

27345↑

6533154

8907↑ 

141594

13↑

Rajasthan

7268

2252↑

946874

404↑

8967

 

Tamil Nadu

22828

6251↑

2707779

721↑

36825

11↑

Telangana

7847

1679↑

675573

232↑

4036

2↑

Uttar Pradesh

8224

3066↑

1688105

47↑

22917

1

West Bengal

41101

8059↑ 

1632797

7343↑

19846

19↑

Note: * includes foreign nationals. 
[↑↓ indicates status change since the previous day.]
Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Amid another COVID wave, how prepared are corporates in India?

Companies across India are now experienced at managing their organizations having gone through multiple COVID crises since 2020. In particular, in states where the COVID outbreaks have been endemic, several firms have strategized for operational continuity and even expanded organization capabilities through digitization. Firms have also developed or customized tools for client servicing, logistics planning, and staff well-being.

Transitions to work-from-home have become efficient and each business has worked out the right hybrid model of offline/online work for their respective areas of operations. Technology-led enterprise ability and functioning is the new normal and digitization will continue to support businesses and consumer industries.

Best practices for employers

As we settle into 2022, and a third wave of COVID, it is important for organizations to hold the panic, note real-time developments with context, and take necessary precautions. Investing in some form of technology infrastructure – relevant to the business scope – and cybersecurity should remain top priorities for all businesses, given the frequent periods of uncertainty associated with COVID outbreaks and implementation of area lockdown measures.

Besides staff leave management and resource planning, HR departments need to track staff vaccination records and eligibility for vaccine booster shots, ensure access to health insurance, establish a reimbursement policy for work-from-home miscellaneous expenses, require negative result on RT-PCR tests if an employee needs to go into work at the office, and coordinate with office building management policies on disease control.

Frequent outbreaks will affect staff mental well-being and it is advised that companies prioritize open communication, digital check-ins, sharing of fact-based information, and releasing updates on the disease control and management practices adopted by the organization.

Below we address some frequently asked questions about India’s vaccination program and the launch of the vaccine booster policy.

What is India’s vaccination rate?

64 percent of India’s adult population is fully vaccinated and approximately 90 percent of the adult population has received the first dose of vaccine, as of December 31, 2021. (According to the World Bank data for 2020, India’s population aged 15-64 was 928,266,848.)

Vaccination of children in the age group 15-18 started January 3, 2022. For such beneficiaries, the vaccination option will be “Covaxin” only. See the latest government guidelines here, released December 27, 2021.

Below, we provide information (dated January 5, 2022, 15:30 IST) from the union health ministry-affiliated Co-WIN website, which tracks COVID vaccine sites, registration of vaccinations, and verifies vaccine certificates.

India’s vaccination status – January 7, 2022 (17:00 IST)

Total vaccination doses

Sites conducting vaccination

Total registrations

1,504,305,752

108,999

957,266,184

Dose 1

878,889,699

Government

107,024

Age 15-17

21,623,104

Dose 2

625,416,053

Private

1,975

Age 18-44

585,679,460

 

 

Age 45+

349,963,620

Source: Co-Win Dashboard, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Delhi’s vaccination status – January 7, 2022 (17:00 IST)

Total vaccination doses

Sites conducting vaccination

27,354,079

1,389

Dose 1

15,789,851

Government

1,248

Dose 2

11,564,228

Private

141

Source: Co-Win Dashboard, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Mumbai’s vaccination status – January 7, 2022 (17:00 IST)

Total vaccination doses

Sites conducting vaccination

18,295,445

435

Dose 1

10,061,697

Government

329

Dose 2

8,233,748

Private

106

Source: Co-Win Dashboard, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

What COVID vaccines are available in India?

India is currently using only three vaccines in its national vaccination drive – Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, Covaxin developed and produced by Indian firm Bharat Biotech, and the Russian-made Sputnik V (BBC News). Almost 90 percent of India’s vaccinated population has received Covishield.

Nine vaccines have been approved for use in India:

  • Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation) by Serum Institute of India
    Type of vaccine platform: Non-replicating viral vector
  • Covaxin by Bharat Biotech
    Type of vaccine platform: Inactivated
  • Sputnik V by Gamaleya
    Type of vaccine platform: Non-replicating viral vector
  • COVOVAX (Novavax formulation) by Serum Institute of India
    Type of vaccine platform: Protein subunit
  • ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila
    Type of vaccine platform: DNA
  • mRNA-1273 by Moderna
    Type of vaccine platform: RNA
  • Corbevax by Biological E Limited (developed in collaboration with US-based Dynavax and Baylor College of Medicine)
    Type of vaccine platform: Protein subunit
  • COV2.S by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
    Type of vaccine platform: Non-replicating viral vector
  • AZD1222 by Oxford/AstraZeneca
    Type of vaccine platform: Non-replicating viral vector

There are 14 vaccines in clinical trials in India – BECOV2A (Biological E Limited), NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax), COVOVAX (Novavax formulation) (Serum Institute of India), AKS-452 (University Medical Center Groningen), ZyCoV-D (Zydus Cadila), Sputnik V (Gamaleya), AZD1222 (Oxford/AstraZeneca), Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation) (Serum Institute of India), Covaxin (Bharat Biotech), BECOV2B (Biological E Limited), BECOV2C (Biological E Limited), BECOV2D (Biological E Limited), HGCO19 (Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Limited), and BBV154 (Bharat Biotech).

What is India’s vaccine booster policy?

India will roll out the booster shots (third ‘precaution doses’) of COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare and frontline workers as well as for those aged above 60 with comorbidities (list of 20), starting January 10, 2022.

In terms of comorbidities, those eligible above 60 years include patients of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, kidney disease (people on dialysis), cirrhosis, cancer, sickle cell disease, and those receiving stem cell transplant, etc. Older adults who have highly compromised immune systems will also qualify for the booster shots. Such persons will need to provide a medical certificate from their doctor as evidence of their comorbidity.

According to the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan: “GOI [Government of India] has very clearly articulated the position that we would be governed with science & scientific evidence on deciding on the need & timing for additional doses & for lowering the age of vaccination.”

Has the Indian government taken steps to manage COVID-linked disruption to the economy?

The government is closely monitoring the delivery and transportation of goods and essential commodities throughout the country in light of various restrictions announced by respective states to combat rising COVID infections. Various state governments have announced night and/or weekend curfews to limit physical movement in public spaces (reporting by Indian Express). 

Further, different state governments have issued guidelines so that hospitals – including those in the private sector and nursing homes – set aside a specific quota of beds for COVID patients. For example, major private hospitals in Delhi have been asked to allocate 40 percent beds for COVID patients (as reported by NDTV on January 4, 2022).

Supply chain support / helpdesk

Any manufacturing, transportation, distribution, wholesale, or e-commerce company that faces difficulties in transportation and distribution of goods or mobilization of resources, can write to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) at dpiit-controlroom@gov.in. 

Telephone numbers 91 11 23063554, 23060625 will remain functional from 9 AM to 9 PM from January 5, 2022 (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade notification dated Jan. 4, 2022).

International trade support / helpdesk for import-export issues

On January 6, 2022, the commerce ministry restarted its ‘COVID-19 Helpdesk’ to assist in resolving challenges faced by exporters and importers related to international trade, such as customs clearance delays and banking matters, amid the third wave of COVID cases. See Trade Notice No. 29/2021-2022 published by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade here.

This article was originally posted January 5, 2022. It was updated on January 7, 2022.


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India Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Delhi and Mumbai. Readers may write to india@dezshira.com for more support on doing business in in India.

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