India has lost over 4 million lives to Covid-19 so far, yet a majority of its citizens are still not prepared to deal with the disease.
The preparedness to deal with Covid-19 among urban poor and rural households in India is “abysmally low,” as per a survey conducted by Sambodhi Panel, a multidisciplinary research organisation. The survey included 7,116 households in 10 Indian states: Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, and Gujarat.
Half of the surveyed households did not have basic medicines to treat symptoms like fever and headaches, while 20% did not even have a thermometer.
The respondents also showed a lack of understanding about when to hospitalise a Covid positive person.
The survey revealed that people are largely uninformed about new variants of the Covid-19 virus and the associated symptoms such as diarrhoea, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, among others.
The findings of the survey have come at a time when warnings about an imminent third wave of Covid-19 are gathering pace. On July 23, India added 35,342 new cases of the coronavirus in 24 hours. The total number of Covid-19 deaths in the same period was 483.