STRONG AND SENSITIVE INDIA AFTER COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Author: Shalini Jha, II year of B.A.,LL.B. from School of Law,KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
COVID-19 had a huge impact on citizens, trends, and the behavior of public administration institutions. This article will attempt to provide an overview of the role of public administrators in response to the COVID19 pandemic and building public trust with a dynamic network. Steps were initiated and governance went hand in hand for controlling the pandemic. Finally, it draws the conclusion with the focus on open government with a paradigm of public trust.
KEYWORDS: governance, leadership, pandemic, public administration
Corona viruses are enveloped RNA viruses, which have recombined, mutated behavior and are particularly found in humans and birds. This causes hepatic, neurologic, and respiratory diseases. The first case of the corona was detected in Wuhan. The corona virus, while secular in its infectiousness affected nations differently. Since the risks of severe COVID-19, its related complications, and mortality are much higher in adults, a risk-benefit comparison has so far favored vaccination, even with vaccines with some known serious adverse reactions. Disease prevention with COVID-19 appropriate behavior and vaccination is still necessary. The nation has shown unmatched resolve in the face of the extraordinary challenge of the pandemic. The Indian government at a central and state level worked intensely. The pandemic fight incorporated medical doctors, hospital staff and public administration department. The pandemic management was bound to be all the more difficult in India. A strong and sensitive India has now emerged.
The entire nation was divided into three zones – Green Zone, Red Zone, and Orange Zone. Red zones (hotspots) were the districts with a high number of active cases. Orange zones (non-hotspots) were the districts with fewer cases.[i] Green Zone was the district without confirmed cases or new cases in the last 21 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during 30 min live telecast told about preventive measures for old people and ‘Janata curfew' where they stay at home.
Only those who were involved in essential services including doctors, hospital staff, media, and others were allowed to go out. PM urged people to stand in front of their doors or balconies and to bang utensils applauding doctors for their every effort controlling the pandemic.[ii] State and local authorities had the duty to inform the public about the same. These were the small initiatives when the COVID-19 hit during its first wave.
The public sector was being tested to its limits by the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic and employment opportunities were also at risk as many workers such as street vendors lost their jobs during the pandemic period. Private organizations played a vital role in helping health systems and sustaining resilience. However, both private organizations and communities put in efforts to build a good working health system.
GOVERNMENT AND SOCIAL MEASURES FOR PUBLIC
Department of Education, home affairs, defense, and biotech all were mobilized. Independent fiscal institutions, during the corona virus (COVID 19 pandemic) promoted fiscal accountability and transparency. There have been setbacks, as the virus makes a comeback with new mutations. Initial policy responses to the corona virus led to critical business continuity. Infrastructure and identification of the essential workers worked at a very slow rate. The government recommended rolling out a tailored communication strategy focusing on adolescents and their caregivers to make them aware of the need for timely completion of the vaccination. Policy coherence, coordination, evaluation were lessons from government evaluation. It was a testimony to India’s spirit that the economy is on the move again, and is projected to grow at an impressive rate after a year of contraction.
PREVENTIVE MEASURES TAKEN
i. Public management
Public managers and government agencies agreed on the goals and objectives of public protection. The first dose of vaccination and awareness was spread in urban and rural areas. India has administered over a billion doses of vaccination.
ii. Pandemic in control
Various goals and objectives were bought up. Covishield and Covaxin doses were used in adults. The main objective was to get the population fully vaccinated to curb the spread of the pandemic. Strong measures were taken for the public to understand the hygienic measures and social distancing. People were told to have their own protective personal equipment. The police department on roads and public places urged not to go outside for nonessential reasons.
iii. Transparency in daily statistics
Government vaccination reports and operations are opaque. Doses of vaccination are preventing people from encountering deaths and major infections from the corona virus. The available statistics and data are suspect. The number of deaths reported and vaccinated people are also being monitored. The transparency is being maintained by the government.
iv. Explicit assignment of accountability
Public management can bring out the solution to this by assigning accountability to that particular person. For the effective implementation of vaccination doses all over the nation, there have to be efforts put on so that it is reached to every people and ensuring that management is going pretty well.
v. Incentives to perform
The vaccination doses for all and providing masks for free on the roads are not self-implemented. The public needs to be aware of the consequences of not taking preventive measures regarding the corona virus. Incentives play a critical role in the public or private sector.
vi. Effective communication
Timely communications are of paramount importance for public policy implementation. Whether it's social distancing or lockdown any public policy needs to be effectively communicated to the public. The value of the proposition should be clear to the citizens. Indian PM showed the world how to do effective communication to a nation with 1.3 billion citizens.
vii. People’s participation
People's participation in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and in COVID-19 vaccination is examples of fulfilling their fundamental duties and rendering a national service. Timely completion of dosage was important. India had administered 166.68 cores of COVID-19 vaccine doses which were amongst the highest in the world.
viii. Economic performance
Impressive economic performance was made possible due to improvement in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. There is a plus point for developed infrastructure health emergency with better preparedness can be met.
Enhancing public trust in COVID 19 vaccinations was a tough task. The COVID-19 had made people aware of the reasonable measures that can be undertaken to save lives. Two main priorities were to expand vaccine coverage and insist everyone wear masks. A new paradigm of public trust was built up during this period. Framing the pandemic as a war that humanity must win was useful to accelerate the development of vaccines. However, science is not equipped yet to predict the future trajectory of the corona virus; COVID-19 appropriate behavior, vaccines, and accessible health care remain the only credible defenses. The digital government also supported in every way and open data was available in response to the public questions. Open government and public communication were an immense transformation.
[i]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_government_response_to_the_COVID-19_pandemic> [Accessed 17 February 2022]. [ii]https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pm-modi-calls-for-resolve-restraint/story-SLwrGehiW14NdH6pLDcXgP.html> [Accessed 17 February 2022]