The COVID-19 pandemic around the world has put both healthcare and federal structures to the test. A key feature of India’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been the close collaboration and cooperation between the Union and state governments. During the first phase of the pandemic, India began with a very stringent and rigid lockdown in the months of March-April-May 2020 and then in subsequent months, unlocking measures to protect the economy and prevent the livelihood crisis of Indians in itself invites a case study. In India, as in most federations, the constitution lists healthcare a responsibility assigned to state governments. In extraordinary circumstances such as the COVID-19 outbreak, the constitution provides for the Union government to take the lead in coordinating between and supporting the states. During the lockdown, the pandemic also provided much impetus to intergovernmental collaboration. Over the period of three months, multiple video conferences took place between the prime minister and the chief ministers.