A study in medical journal The Lancet has said that districts in Madhya Pradesh may be the most vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus, followed by those in Bihar and Telangana. According to the study, vulnerability means the risk of consequences of infection, including spread, morbidity, mortality, and social and economic effects.

“A number of districts in nine large states – Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha, and Gujarat – located in every region of the country except the northeast, were found to have high overall vulnerability,” the study said. “High vulnerability” was measured as an index value above 0.75. “Although our intention was not to predict the risk of infection for a district or a state, we observed similarities between vulnerability and the current concentration of Covid-19 cases at the state level,” the study added.

The journal used 15 indicators across five parameters – socioeconomic, demographic, housing and hygiene, epidemiological and health system – to establish its findings. The nine states cited in the study had high vulnerability on most of the five parameters.

Madhya Pradesh had an overall vulnerability score of 1 – the most vulnerable. This was followed by Bihar (0.971), Telangana (0.943), Jharkhand (0.914) and Uttar Pradesh (0.886). At the other extreme, Sikkim had a vulnerability score of zero, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (0.029), Himachal Pradesh (0.057), Chandigarh (0.086) and Daman and Diu (0.114).

However, the researchers issued a disclaimer, saying that the data used in the survey was two-to-five -years-old, and may or may not reflect vulnerability properly, given the rapid changes which have occurred since.

On Friday, India crossed 10 lakh coronavirus cases, with Maharashtra (2,84,281), Tamil Nadu (1,56,369) and Delhi (1,18,645) leading the pack, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. There have been a total of 25,602 fatalities so far.

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