Odisha has emerged as an unlikely performer in the fight against COVID. While states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi were expected to perform better given their financial resources and developed status, Odisha is performing exceedingly well on almost all parameters in the fight against COVID. Let’s look at some indices developed from statistical analysis to make more sense of this hypothesis that Odisha is performing much better than most states in India with reference to COVID.
The data and references are drawn from the websites of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha and the World Health Organisation database. The data has been drawn as it stood at 11 pm on May 4, 2020. We will look at this analysis at three levels. The first indicator would be a comparison of where Odisha stand’s with reference to the world and India. The second level would be the comparison between Odisha and India and the third level comparison would be between Odisha and the other States.
Let’s look at the first statistical indicator called Sample Tests Multiple. The Sample Tests Multiple is the total COVID tests conducted in the population divided by the total samples that tested positive for COVID from among the same population. The higher the number for this indicator, the better is the performance. For the week ending on May 4, 2020, the Sample Tests Multiple stood at 35 for the World, 26 for India and 243 for Odisha. This shows that Odisha has performed exceedingly better than India and the World by more than 200 points when it comes to this indicator. It denotes that success on two counts. Firstly, either the testing is done widely in the population or due to social distancing measures undertaken by Odisha, the positive cases are much lower than would have been in the first place. It could also be a case of both factors contributing to this interesting good performance.
Now let’s move to the comparison between Odisha and India. The indicator we choose to do this comparison is the Sample tests per million people indicator. It simply means the total number of COVID tests undertaken per ten lakh people in the specified geographical population. While for the week ending on 4th May 2020 the Sample test per million population for India stood at 708 tested samples per million population, for Odisha it stood at a much higher 938 tested samples per million population. About 220 samples being tested more in Odisha per million population than the Indian average points out to the extensiveness of testing being undertaken by the state of Odisha as compared to the nation.
Let’s continue our comparison of Odisha and India with reference to three ratios, namely Confirmed Ratio, Recovered Ratio and Fatality Ratio. Confirmed ratio means the total number of samples tested positive for COVID divided by the total samples tested for COVID. A lower confirmed ratio denotes a better performance and means that either widespread testing is being conducted or social distancing measures are keeping the numbers of positive patients in check or both. While the Confirmed Ratio for India in percentage terms stands at 3.4%, for Odisha it is only 0.4%, which translates to that Odisha is doing far better than India on the confirmed ratio.
Recovered Ratio means the total number of COVID patients that have recovered divided by the total number of people tested positive for COVID. In percentage terms, while India has a Recovered Ratio of 27.5%, Odisha is ahead by eight points and stands at 35.5%. The higher the Recovered Ratio naturally the better as recoveries in a population is an indicator of how COVID management has been effectively undertaken. In this case as well, Odisha is way ahead of the Indian performance. The Fatality Ratio as you would have guessed is the total deaths due to COVID infection divided by the total COVID positive people. The lower the Fatality Ratio the better is a natural conclusion. While for India in percentage terms, the Fatality Ratio stands at 3.2%, for Odisha it’s much lower at 0.6%, signifying that Odisha has not only been ensuring better recovery but also ensuring minimizing fatalities. As on May 4, 2020, there was only one fatality in Odisha from among 169 COVID positive patients.
Now let us take it to the third level of comparison, between Odisha and the other States with reference to the above mentioned three ratios, Confirmed Ratio, Recovered Ratio and Fatality Ratio. With reference to Confirmed Ration, a lower ratio is better as has been already explained earlier in this piece. In terms of Confirmed Ration, while Odisha stood at 0.4%, other states like Delhi stood at 7.8%, Maharashtra at 7.7%, Gujarat 6.8%, Madhya Pradesh 6%, Telangana 5.6%, West Bengal 4.2%, Punjab 3.9%, Uttar Pradesh 2.9%, Jammu and Kashmir 2.5%, Rajasthan 2.4%, Tamil Nadu 1.9%, Bihar 1.8%, Kerala 1.6%, Andhra Pradesh 1.3%, Haryana 1.2% and many more States, comparatively not performing well as compared to Odisha’s 0.4% only. This denotes that the testing in Odisha is being done more extensively than many other states. Further, the social distancing measures undertaken by the Odisha Government including the strong action to ensuring complete lockdown is helping Odisha as compared to other States in ensuring a very good Confirmed Ratio which other states should emulate.
Lower the Fatality Ratio, the better is the performance of the state. This is something that we have already learnt above in this piece while comparing Odisha with India. Now the time has come to compare Odisha with the rest of the states in India. Odisha’s Fatality Ratio in percentage stands at 0.6% while for the other states is alarmingly high. While for Madhya Pradesh it is at 5.6%, for Gujarat its at 5.3%. For Maharashtra it’s at 4.2%, 4% for Karnataka, 3.6% for West Bengal, Telangana at 2.7%, Jharkhand at 2.6%, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan at 2.5%, Assam 2.3%, Andhra Pradesh 2.2%, Punjab 1.9%, Uttarakhand 1.7%, Uttar Pradesh 1.6%, Delhi 1.4%, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana at 1.1%, Tamil Nadu at 1% and other States performing not so well as compared to Odisha's Fatality Ratio at 0.6%. It clearly shows how Odisha has been able to protect and save lives and since the entire COVID fight started, Odisha has lost one life on its watch. Touch wood!
Higher the Recovered Ratio, the better is the performance of the state. For the Recovered Ratio in percentage terms, while Odisha stands pretty at 35.5%, other states are not looking as good. While Punjab is clocking 10.6%, Tripura is at 12.5%, West Bengal at 15.7%, Maharashtra 16.3%, Jharkhand 19.1%, Gujarat 19.2%, Bihar 24.2%, Madhya Pradesh 27.1%, Uttar Pradesh 27.6% and Delhi at 29.9%. It’s important to note that while Odisha is performing much better in COVID management in this ratio, many developed states like Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra following Odisha signifies the hard work and efficient COVID management undertaken by the Odisha Government in these challenging times.
There are many indicators and ratios which would statistically prove that Odisha’s COVID management is much better and the State’s performance is very impressive when compared to other States in India. For a state which is known to have perfected the art of disaster management under the Chief Ministership of Naveen Patnaik, Odisha is pulling out all stops in its quest to ensure that its people are safe, sound and hopefully on a quicker path to recovery and normalcy as compared to other States which are still grappling with the unfolding menace of COVID. From the looks of it, its quite certain that other states would do well to take note of the indicators and emulate Odisha in its COVID management strategy and techniques which have been quite beneficial and useful to its people.
The author, Dr Sasmit Patra, is a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Odisha and a spokesperson of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
(The views and opinions expressed are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions, and perspective appearing do not reflect the views of Republic TV/ Republic World/ ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd.)