The Takshashila Institution believes that the health response to COVID-19 should be proactive, proportional, and evidence-based. The response led by the Union and state governments should optimally utilize and build on the existing capabilities of both the public and private sectors. This includes the ramping up of testing capacities, the deployment of a vaccine (when ready), and preparation for future outbreaks.
It is critical that widespread testing is made available. Facilitating private companies to increase testing, removal of price caps, and easing of the regulatory burden will help increase COVID-19 testing while maintaining quality.
India should aim to vaccinate 80% of the population by December 2021. Takshashila recommends estimating need based on an essential-first approach, communicating a model contract to build manufacturer and public confidence and financing the vaccine through a market price supplemented with subsidy strategy. Takshashila also recommends that a combination of election commission and state public health administration services to be used for vaccine delivery and a database be maintained for monitoring of adverse events.
COVID-19 has brought on a public health crisis of unprecedented proportions. However, future waves of a COVID-19 outbreak and other infectious diseases have to be anticipated, and preparations for such events need to be made. This includes setting up mechanisms for early detection and containment, building healthcare capacity and expanding social distancing measures.