80.2 Overall Score (up 5.9 since Aug 1st.)


  • 100 Public Health
  • 80.1 Financial
  • 60 Fact-Based
  • 100 Public Health
  • 80.1 Financial
  • 60 Fact-Based

India scores just above the median, a large drop-off in recent months, keyed by substantial weakening of restrictions and worsening financial support.

Pre-COVID Conditions

India’s weak healthcare system, poor population health, very low number of hospital beds, and low GDP-per-capita resulted in it being vulnerable to the pandemic.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 68.1%
  • GDP/capita $9,027
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 37.8
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 30
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 44.8
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 4.4

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Jan 1.)

Public Health Directives

India scores highly in this category, with relatively strong school and public restrictions countering limited testing and low emergency healthcare spending.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $0.92
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 125.4
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

India’s relatively strong score is driven by its wide-ranging debt forbearance and relief, but its stimulus is fairly small, and its income support is around the median for workers, many of whom are employed in the informal sector or in migrant work.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 7%
  • Income support 0
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

Across the country, Indian journalists have been arrested for sedition or spreading "fake news" in response to their reporting on the state’s handling of COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 2

COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1

India has performed consistently strongly in this category across all subcategories, particularly with its low death rate; lockdown extensions helped to bring spiking case rates under control.

  • Total deaths 148,994
  • Death rate per 100K 108
  • Total cases 10,286,709
  • Cases per 100K 7,454
  • Percent of positive tests 1.7
  • Change in positivity rates -5.7
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown Level 3 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Apr 29 Government permits stranded people to travel within the country 1.21
2 Jun 08 Restaurants, offices, malls, and places of worship reopen 6.99
3 Sep 07 Metro rail trains resume 61.00
4 Sep 21 Taj Mahal reopens, as do schools in eight states, public gatherings allowed up to 100 people 65.47
5 Oct 15 Cinemas allowed to open with 50 percent capacity, entertainment parks open, congregations allowed up to 200 people 48.07
6 Oct 27 Extended localized lockdowns 35.12

Differentiating Factors

Compared with the Nearest Countries in the Index
  • 22.3
    China 96,023
    Per 1M

    China’s aggressive lockdowns played a key role in controlling case and death rates. However, its low score is driven by multiple factors, including the country’s minimal financial response and lack of press freedom and fact-based communications. China’s failure to report testing obscures understanding of actual COVID-19 dynamics within the country.

  • 0
    Iran 1,231,429
    Per 1M

    Iran has a very weak policy score, due largely to very weak public health policy, driven by a severe lack of testing and substantial misinformation and press limitations by the national authorities.

  • 25.9
    Russia 3,153,960
    Per 1M

    Russia has a relatively weak score, with strong public health policy undone by weak financial support, limitations on press freedom, and spread of misinformation about the pandemic.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million