Skip to main content

Table 2 The main epidemic prevention and control policies in Indiab

From: Strategies comparison in response to the two waves of COVID-19 in the United States and India


The key elements

1. Border prevention and control measures

(1) On January 25, 2020, the government issued a travel warning, requiring the public to avoid unnecessary trips to China.

(2) On 2 February 2020, e-visa services to India for Chinese passport holders and visa applicants of other nationalities residing in China were suspended.

(3) On March 11, 2020, the border was closed and passengers from countries with severe epidemics would be quarantined for 14 days after entering India.

(4) From March 22, 2020, the border prevention and control policy was upgraded to prohibit the entry of international passengers.

2. Maintaining social distancing and community control measures

(1) Conduct community quarantine on close contacts.

(2) The government recommended that state governments required their factories, shops and other entities to adopt a "Work From Home Policy" and pay wages as usual.

(3) Keep a distance of at least 6 feet in public places.

3. The blockade measures

(1) The "Janta" curfew was implemented on March 22, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., prohibiting anyone from leaving their houses except people providing basic services.

(2) From March 25, 2020, the whole country entered a 21-day full lockdown state, which was then extended until 31 May. Residents, except those with necessary occupations, were required to stay at home. During the lockdown, all shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, markets and places of worship would be closed, and interstate buses, subways and construction activities would also be suspended.

(3) On May 4, 2020, the states were divided into three zones: red, orange and green, and strict "stay-at-home orders" should be implemented in the red and orange zones, while relevant activities were allowed in the green zone. The order was valid until May 17.

(4) On 17 May 2020, the red and orange zones were divided into containment zones and buffer zones. No one was allowed to enter or leave the containment zone and only necessary activities were allowed within the containment zone. The order was valid until May 30.

(5) On April 13, 2021, Maharashtra announced that it would implement a "national curfew" from 8 pm on the 14th to 7 am on May 1.

(6) On April 19, 2021, New Delhi implemented a city-wide blockade, and announced the extension of the blockade four times on April 25, May 1, May 9, and May 16.

(7) In May 2021, curfews were imposed in many places and Madhya Pradesh was completely sealed off.

4. Campus prevention and control measures

(1) Allow and encourage online or distance learning.

(2) Close all educational institutions (including schools and universities) from 16 March 2020.

(3) On September 21, 2020, in areas outside the quarantine area, up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff could be allowed to go to the school for online teaching or remote tutoring.

(4) The Ministry of Education urged the postponement of offline examinations in May 2021.

5. Medical resource measures

(1) The export of protective equipment such as masks and protective clothing was prohibited from January 31, 2020.

(2) India transformed 20,000 train carriages into isolation wards, which can accommodate up to 320,000 beds that meet the isolation requirements.

(3) On April 12, 2020, major hospitals have prepared 106,000 beds to receive patients whose number may surge at any time.

(4) On March 25, 2021, the export of vaccines was restricted.

6. Testing and contact tracing measures

(1) On April 2, 2020, the "ArogyaSetu" mobile app for digital contact tracing was launched in India. (0.03 total tests per thousand people)

(2) The ALLA began to provide free testing and treatment facilities for COVID-19 patients on 30 July 2020. (13.5 total tests per thousand people)

(3) Conduct close contact tracing and door-to-door testing in the quarantine area according to actual needs.

(4) It was announced that to improve detection capacity, RT-PCR detection should be expanded to 70% or more as far as possible from April 1, 2021.

(5) In late December 2021, the Indian government asked states in writing to promote at-home testing, especially for those showing symptoms of infection. (more than 471 total tests per thousand people)

7. Vaccination measures

The vaccination program began on 16 January 2021.

8. Lifting restrictions in stages

(1) On April 20, 2020, the opening of agricultural enterprises, including dairy products, aquaculture and plantations, was allowed. Cargo transportation vehicles were allowed to operate. Banks and government centers that distribute benefits were also allowed to open.

(2) Gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, 2020.

(3) On May 30, 2020, the government announced the lifting of the blockade restrictions outside the quarantine zone. The first phase of the closure began on June 1, 2020, and the curfew time was shortened. The Government gradually lifted the ban and allowed some enterprises to resume work and production.

(4) On July 1, 2020, the second phase of unsealing began, and the curfew time was shortened.

(5) On August 1, 2020, the third phase of unsealing began.

(6) On September 1, 2020, the fourth phase of unsealing began, allowing further opening of public places under certain restrictions.

(7) From October 15, 2020, the fifth phase of unsealing began, which allowed cinemas and theatres outside the blockaded areas to hold up to 50% of the seats, and allowed the opening of entertainment parks and other similar venues.

(8) On 22 October 2020, the government gradually eased visa and travel restrictions and allowed all OCI and PIO cardholders and all other foreign nationals (except those on tourist visas) planning to visit India for any purpose to enter India by air or by water through approved immigration checkpoints at airports and seaports.

(9) On 27 January 2021, new surveillance, containment and warning guidelines were issued, providing that all activities were permitted except a few that were permitted under certain restrictions. The phased development, gradual resumption, etc., would continue.

  1. bTable 2 is compiled from the policies and regulations published on the official websites of the India government, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India and World Health Organization