The Government of India’s 40-day national lockdown was a necessary step toward protecting people from getting the COVID-19 infection and breaking the chain of viral transmission. However, a strict lockdown brings a halt to economic activities, triggering loss in livelihood and bringing some hardships to the population. Often, these effects are disproportionate and the most marginalized feel the effects most. The Population Council Institute's telephone survey with participants in longitudinal studies has helped to understand the critical needs of households and provided supportive data for the Government of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. About two-thirds reported that either they themselves or their family members lost jobs/livelihoods due to the lockdown. Food (88 percent), money (44 percent), and medicine (17 percent) were the three most critical needs, irrespective of gender, state, and area where the respondent lived. This brief describes what the private sector, volunteers, nongovernmental organizations, and governments can do to meet critical needs and provide supportive services during the COVID-19 lockdown.
"Critical needs during Covid-19 lockdown: Job, food, cash, medicines—Who needs what?" New Delhi: Population Council.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic