Uttar Pradesh is a large state in the north of India:
It has a population of about 230 million, the largest of any of India’s 28 states, meaning that although it’s just one of many states in the nation of India, its population is so large that if it were its own country, it would be the 5th-most populous country in the world.
It is also one of the most densely-population places on earth, with a population per square mile of over 2100. That would rank about 12th worldwide when compared to other countries, and most of the countries at the top of the population density list are tiny city-states like Macau, Singapore, Monaco, Gibraltar, Bahrain, etc. It has nearly twice the population density of South Korea.
Uttar Pradesh is now essentially Covid-free, according to its state government. Via the Hindustan Times, in an article that was published on September 10:
There are no active cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in 33 districts of Uttar Pradesh, the state government informed on Friday. About 67 districts have not reported a single new case of the viral infection in the last 24 hours, the government said, noting the steady improvement of the Covid-19 situation in the state.
Overall, the state has a total of 199 active cases, while the positivity rate came down to less than 0.01 per cent. The recovery rate, meanwhile, has improved to 98.7 per cent. As per the state’s health bulletin, Uttar Pradesh reported only 11 new Covid-19 cases and zero deaths in the last 24 hours.
Uttar Pradesh has a total of 75 districts, and in 33 of them, there are no active cases of Covid. None. As of last Friday, 67 of the 75 reported no new Covid cases over a 24 hour period.
There were only 199 total Covid cases in the state out of a population of 234 million. This is pretty incredible.
While much of the world is dealing with rising Covid cases due to the Delta Variant, India as a whole appears to have its Covid situation largely under control:
Now there could be many reasons for this. India, after all, is where the Delta variant originated, meaning its cases were always going to rise, peak and fall earlier than in places like America, the UK and elsewhere. At the time Delta was peaking in India, new daily cases of Covid in the US were as low as they’d been since May 2020.
But the interesting thing about Uttar Pradesh is the way the state has dealt with Covid-19. According to the Times of India, as of early August, only 5.8% of the state’s population was fully vaccinated, while 31% had received one dose.
Now those numbers have gone up over the past month, as according to the Times of India, the state has been administering Covid vaccines at an average rate of 11.7 lakh per day (1 lakh = 100,000, meaning over 1.1 million vaccine shots per day.) However, the total percentage of vaccinated persons in the state is still relatively low: 47% have one shot, and just 9.5% in Uttar Pradesh are fully vaccinated.
Compare that to the US, where 64% of the population has had at least one dose and 52% are fully vaccinated.
So why has Uttar Pradesh largely succeeded in eradicating Covid despite its low rate of vaccination?
Well, this is where it gets “controversial,” at least in the US where free thought and free speech are actively and aggressively discouraged.
Because this article in The Indian Express from May 12 quoting Uttar Pradesh government officials credited Ivermectin for the state’s success against Covid:
A year after the country’s first Covid-19 cluster, with 5 cases, was reported in Agra district, the Uttar Pradesh government has claimed that it was the first state to have introduced a large-scale “prophylactic and therapeutic” use of Ivermectin and added that the drug helped the state to maintain a lower fatality and positivity rate as compared to other states.
Prophylactic means preventative.
Citing the results from Agra in the month of May and June last year, following which the use of Ivermectin, a medicine to treat parasitic ailments, along with Doxycycline was introduced as a protocol across the state for both prophylactic as well as treatment purposes, the state Health Department said it would conduct a controlled study once the second wave of the pandemic subsides.
The state Health Department introduced Ivermectin as prophylaxis for close contacts of Covid patients, health workers as well as for the treatment of the patients themselves through a government order on August 6, 2020, after a committee headed by the Director General, Medical and Health Services, gave it the go ahead.
“Uttar Pradesh was the first state in the country to introduce large-scale prophylactic and therapeutic use of Ivermectin. In May-June 2020, a team at Agra, led by Dr Anshul Pareek, administered Ivermectin to all RRT team members in the district on an experimental basis. It was observed that none of them developed Covid-19 despite being in daily contact with patients who had tested positive for the virus,” Uttar Pradesh State Surveillance Officer Vikssendu Agrawal said.
He added that based on the findings from Agra, the state government sanctioned the use of Ivermectin as a prophylactic for all the contacts of Covid patients and later cleared the administration of therapeutic doses for the treatment of such patients.
Claiming that timely introduction of Ivermectin since the first wave has helped the state maintain a relatively low positivity rate despite its high population density, he said, “Despite being the state with the largest population base and a high population density, we have maintained a relatively low positivity rate and cases per million of population”.
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh also attributed the state’s relative success in keeping the Covid numbers down to the timely nod to the use of Ivermectin as a prophylactic. He added that government doctor Anshul Pareek had approached him last year citing use of the medicine abroad.
In late April of 2021, as the Delta wave was peaking in India, only 9% of new Covid cases in the country were from Uttar Pradesh despite it being the most populous state.
Here is the overall Covid case chart for Uttar Pradesh since the start of the Pandemic:
It’s a stark difference to the Covid situation in Kerala, an state located at the bottom tip of India:
In contrast to Uttar Pradesh, which as the Indian Express article noted recommended Ivermectin for not only Covid patients but all close contacts of Covid patients, Kerala as of April 2021 only recommended Ivermectin for Covid patients with high-risk factors:
Kerala recommended Remdesivir for severe Covid, and, more importantly, did not recommended Ivermectin for close contacts of Covid patients. It also did not recommend Ivermectin as an early treatment, something Uttar Pradesh did.
And, as of August 5, Kerala ceased recommending Ivermectin for Covid patients. You can see from the chart above, cases in Kerala remain elevated, while cases in Uttar Pradesh are basically nonexistent.
Now it’s not a confirmed fact that Ivermectin is the reason Uttar Pradesh beat Covid, but you can see the difference here between Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.
Whatever the true reason behind Uttar Pradesh’s apparent eradication of Covid, we should be happy about the news. Clearly they’re doing something right there, whether it’s Ivermectin or something else. At the very least, their success against Covid is most certainly not because of the vaccine, because they have a lower vaccination rate than we do here in the US–plus a significantly lower vaccination rate than Israel, the most vaccinated nation on the planet.
In a sane and uncorrupted world, we would be studying the actions taken in Uttar Pradesh and applying them not only here in the US but all around the world.
As you can see from the Kerala Covid treatment guidelines above, they cite the NIH as a source for claiming Ivermectin is not proven to be effective in fighting Covid. A lot of other countries look to the US for leadership and guidance with regard for Covid, but unfortunately that may be to their detriment. Kerala should be following in the footsteps of Uttar Pradesh. As should the US.
But unfortunately in the US, and all the other countries that follow our lead, the main concern is getting people vaccinated, not beating Covid.