COVID-19 in South Asia: India Lags Behind Pak on Stimulus, Lanka on Overall Performance -Deepankar Basu and Priyanka Srivastava

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published Published on May 19, 2020   modified Modified on May 19, 2020

In each of the four large South Asian nations, the response of the state to the pandemic has been shaped by long standing and underlying political faultlines.

In parts one and two of this article, we have discussed the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparedness (in terms of health infrastructure), and the government’s public health responses to the pandemic in four South Asian countries. In this concluding part, we discuss two issues: government economic policies and the politics that is shaping the response to the pandemic in these four countries.

There are two components of the economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak: health care spending to build infrastructure (like hospitals, hospital beds, quarantine facilities), procure equipment (like ICU equipment, ventilators) and prepare staff to deal with the pandemic; and expenditures to mitigate economic effects of physical distancing policies adopted to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Using data from media reports and from the IMF COVID-19 Policy Tracker, we now present a summary account of the economic measures adopted in the four big South Asian countries.

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