"The more immediate policy responses that will earn large dividends in India include: One, addressing crowding by increasing per-capita consumption of floor area by drastically reducing regulatory barriers to construction. Two, administratively, the crisis has taught us that a pandemic response cannot be federally-mandated and requires a decentralised, proximal, and accountable response. To enable this, city leaders need to be empowered. Three, social protection systems need to be redesigned to protect the poor and vulnerable in urban areas, in addition to the current focus on rural settlements. Four, countries such as India with large out-of-pocket expenditures on private health care must restore the balance between health care and robust public health that focuses on improving health outcomes for all — only a capable State can deliver the latter.
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