Advanced search

Assessing The Vulnerability Index Of Covid-19 Pandemic In India

Full Text:


The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has created havoc all across the States and Union Territories (UTs) of India since its beginning on 30th January 2020. As of 1st January 2021, India has recorded 10,305,788 cases and 149,218 deaths from this deadly pandemic. It has been observed through the data; across states and UTs, the trend and pattern of this disease are not similar at all. There are many reasons for these dissimilarities which are categorized into indicators to assess the vulnerability in this study. We have examined vulnerabilities in 28 states and 8 UTs of India. Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) has been applied with certain modifications to calculate the Vulnerability Index (VI). The figure resulting from the vulnerability assessment corresponds that the factors involved in the three-section exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity had a significant impact on deciding the vulnerability of the population. The result identified the states and UTs which are more vulnerable and need more attention from the government and policymakers. The proposed method of study is unique in its sense as vulnerability index calculation is purely based on a secondary source of data and therefore has an expectation of a higher degree of practical application.

About the Authors

Netrananda Sahu
University of Delhi

Netrananda Sahu, Assistant Professor

Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics

Delhi 110007

Martand Mani Mishra
University of Delhi

Martand Mani Mishr, Ph.D. Research Scholar, Senior Research Fellow

Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics

Delhi 110007


1. Acharya R., & Porwal A. (2020). A vulnerability index for the management of and response to the COVID-19 epidemic in India: an ecological study. The Lancet Global Health, 8(9), e1142–e1151, DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30300-4.

2. Amram O., Amiri S. Lutz R.B., Rajan B., & Monsivais P. (2020). Development of a vulnerability index for diagnosis with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in Washington State, USA. Health and Place, 64, 102377, DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102377.

3. Avtar R., Kumar P., Supe H., Jie D., Sahu N., Mishra B. and Yunus A. (2020). Did the COVID-19 Lockdown-Induced Hydrological Residence Time Intensify the Primary Productivity in Lakes? Observational Results Based on Satellite Remote Sensing. Water, 12(9), 2573, DOI: 10.3390/w12092573.

4. Bae H.-J., Kang J.E., & Lim Y.-R. (2019). Assessing the health vulnerability caused by climate and air pollution in Korea using the fuzzy topsis. Sustainability, 11(10), 2894, DOI: 10.3390/su11102894.

5. Benz J.K., Espinosa O., Welsh V., and Fontes A. (2011). Awareness of racial and ethnic health disparities has improved only modestly over a decade. Health Affairs, 30(10), DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0702.

6. Bhadra A., Mukherjee A., & Sarkar K. (2021). Impact of population density on Covid-19 infected and mortality rate in India. Model Earth System Environ, 7, 623-629, DOI: 10.1007/s40808-020-00984-7.

7. Bray I., Gibson A., & White J. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 mortality: a multivariate ecological analysis in relation to ethnicity, population density, obesity, deprivation and pollution. Public Health, 185, 261-263, DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2020.06.056.

8. Chaurasiya P., Pandey P., Rajak U., Dhakar K., Verma M., & Verma T. (2020). Epidemic and Challenges of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19): India Response. SSRN Electronic Journal, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3569665.

9. Coronavirus Data India - COVID-19 Pandemic Data India with State wise growth statistics details figures | Indiastat. Retrieved January 18, 2021, available at

10. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Retrieved January 5, 2021, available at

11. Coşkun H., Yıldırım N., and Gündüz S. (2021). The spread of COVID-19 virus through population density and wind in Turkey cities. Science of the Total Environment, 751, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141663

12. Deziel N.C., Allen J.G., Scheepers P.T.J., & Levy J.I. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic: a moment for exposure science. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 30(4), 591-593, DOI: 10.1038/s41370-020-0225-3.

13. Fong M.W., Gao H., Wong J.Y., Xiao J., Shiu E.Y.C., Ryu S., & Cowling B.J. (2020). Nonpharmaceutical measures for pandemic influenza in nonhealthcare settings-social distancing measures. In: Emerging Infectious Diseases , Vol. 26, Issue 5, 976–984. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), DOI: 10.3201/eid2605.190995.

14. Freedman B. (1966). HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DISEASES. American Journal of Public Health and the Nations Health, 56(11), 1973.

15. Giovanetti M., Benvenuto D., Angeletti S., & Ciccozzi M. (2020). The first two cases of 2019-nCoV in Italy: Where they come from? Journal of Medical Virology, 92(5), DOI: 10.1002/jmv.25699.

16. Gupte J., & Mitlin D. (2020). COVID-19: what is not being addressed. Environment and Urbanization, 095624782096396, DOI: 10.1177/0956247820963961.

17. Hahn M.B., Riederer A.M., & Foster S.O. (2009). The Livelihood Vulnerability Index: A pragmatic approach to assessing risks from climate variability and change-A case study in Mozambique, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.11.002.

18. Haleemunnissa S., Didel S., Swami M. K., Singh K., & Vyas V. (2021). Children and covid19: Understanding impact on the growth trajectory of an evolving generation. Children and Youth Services Review, 120, 105754, DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105754.

19. Jernigan D.B. (2020). Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(8), 216-219, DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6908e1.

20. Lai C.C., Shih T.P., Ko W.C., Tang H.J., & Hsueh P.R. (2020). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19): The epidemic and the challenges. In: International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 55(3). Elsevier B.V., DOI: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105924.

21. Lupia T., Scabini S., Mornese Pinna S., Di Perri G., De Rosa F.G., & Corcione S. (2020). 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak: A new challenge. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, 21, DOI: 10.1016/j.jgar.2020.02.021

22. Martínez-Piédrola M.M., Guadarrama-Ortega D., Pérez-Fernández E., Ortigosa-Barriola A., Parra-García S., Molinares-Juarrero B., & DíazCuasante A.I. (2021). Strategy for planning and execution of a large-scale SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study on teaching hospital workers during a pandemic situation. Journal of Healthcare Quality Research, 36(1), 3-11, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhqr.2020.11.003.

23. Mazinani M., & Rude B.J. (2021). The novel zoonotic Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: Health perspective on the outbreak. In: Journal of Healthcare Quality Research, 36(1), 47-51. Elsevier Espana S.L.U., DOI: 10.1016/j.jhqr.2020.09.004.

24. Mishra M.M., Sahu N., Pandey BW., Singh RB. (2021). Assessing Human Health Vulnerabilities in the Blocks of Kalahandi district of Odisha, India. Disaster Advances,14, 32-40.

25. Mishra S.V., Gayen A., & Haque S.M. (2020). COVID-19 and urban vulnerability in India. Habitat International, 103(August), 102230, DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2020.102230.

26. Ogen Y. (2020). Assessing nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels as a contributing factor to coronavirus (COVID-19) fatality. Science of the Total Environment, 726, 138605, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138605.

27. Paul S. (2021). Vulnerability and the resilience against covid-19 in India. Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 1-19, DOI: 10.1080/13547860.2021.1915545.

28. Phan L.T., Nguyen T. V., Luong Q.C., Nguyen T.V., Nguyen H.T., Le H.Q., Nguyen T.T., Cao T.M. & Pham Q.D. (2020). Importation and Humanto-Human Transmission of a Novel Coronavirus in Vietnam. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(9), DOI: 10.1056/nejmc2001272.

29. Sarkar A., & Chouhan P. (2020). COVID-19: District level vulnerability assessment in India. Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, June, 0–1. DOI: 10.1016/j.cegh.2020.08.017

30. Shah S.G.S., & Farrow A. (2020). A commentary on “World Health Organization declares global emergency: A review of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).” In: International Journal of Surgery , Vol. 76, 128–129. Elsevier Ltd., DOI: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.03.001.

31. Sohrabi C., Alsafi Z., O’Neill N., Khan M., Kerwan A., Al-Jabir A., Iosifidis C., & Agha R. (2020). World Health Organization declares global emergency: A review of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In: International Journal of Surgery, 76, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.02.034.

32. Tosepu R., Gunawan J., Effendy D.S., Ahmad L.O.A.I., Lestari H., Bahar H., & Asfian P. (2020). Correlation between weather and Covid-19 pandemic in Jakarta, Indonesia. Science of the Total Environment, 725, 138436, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138436.

33. van den Broek-Altenburg E., Atherly A., Diehl S., Gleason K., Hart V., MacLean C., Barkhuff D., Levine M., & Carney J. (2020). Risk Factors for COVID-19: Community Exposure and Mask-Wearing. SSRN Electronic Journal, 05405, 1-19, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3676570.

34. Wiersinga W.J., Rhodes A., Cheng A.C., Peacock S.J., & Prescott H.C. (2020). Pathophysiology, Transmission, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review. In: JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, 324(8), 782-793, American Medical Association, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.12839.

35. Zhang C.H., and Schwartz G.G. (2020). Spatial Disparities in Coronavirus Incidence and Mortality in the United States: An Ecological Analysis as of May 2020. Journal of Rural Health, 36(3), DOI: 10.1111/jrh.12476.

36. Zu Z.Y., Di Jiang M., Xu P.P., Chen W., Ni Q.Q., Lu G.M., & Zhang L.J. (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Perspective from China. In: Radiology , Vol. 296, Issue 2, E15–E25. Radiological Society of North America Inc., DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2020200490.


For citations:

Sahu N., Mishra M. Assessing The Vulnerability Index Of Covid-19 Pandemic In India. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2021;14(4):131-139.

Views: 632

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)