India’s Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons and the Way Forward

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was indiscriminately spreading around the world, the seeming ability of India, the world’s second most populous country (with over 1.3 billion people), to contain the virus within its borders and keep COVID-19 infection and mortality rates low relative to population size was seen as miraculous. However, the miracle ended when ‘second-wave’ hit India in April 2021. On 1 May 2021, India became the first country in the world to record more than 400,000 coronavirus infections in a single day. This exponential rise in COVID-19 cases started on 28 April 2021 when India recorded 379,459 new COVID-19 cases and 3,647 deaths. This marked the eighth straight day of more than 300,000 cases a day—making India the second-highest COVID-19 case count in the world (over 20 million) with over 25 per cent of the global deaths from COVID. The following examines India’s fight against the pandemic, the failure to contain the second wave, the lessons learned and the way forward.
Original languageEnglish
Article number097492842110684
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalIndia Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Indian Council of World Affairs.


  • COVID-19
  • democracy
  • Modi administration
  • vaccine diplomacy
  • political trust


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