Here is a selection of important Covid-19 pieces from across Indian publications. From a lifeline for small businesses, to commitment to people’s health, and why the developed world needs to provide support to emerging economies – read these and more in today’s India dispatch.
Citizens Under Lockdown
Delayed spring migration will cost J&K’s nomadic pastoral tribes: The nationwide lockdown in force at present has disrupted the long spring migration of hundreds of thousands from the Bakarwal and Gujjar nomadic pastoral tribes. Almost half of them are only starting out now, nearly a month late. Read here about how this delay will have a cascading effect on the lives of the nomadic communities and their traditional businesses, which are closely aligned with seasons, festivals and land-use patterns of the region.
Nation’s fight against Covid-19 cannot ignore the chronically sick, vulnerable: People’s health is the responsibility of the state. But at no stage should it resort to methods that hurt the marginalised. The healthcare system of a nation should not be judged by its response to an epidemic but by its commitment to its peoples’ health in the long term. Read more here.
Modi's India is hurting. It needs a Roosevelt: In India, where urbanisation and labour mobility are weapons against built-in caste prejudice, a lifeline to small businesses is an economic and a moral imperative. As long as the recipients become the building blocks of universal social security, it will be $39 billion well spent. Read more here.
Economy and society will not be the same after pandemic retreats: It is said that our economy and society will not be the same from here on. The need for learning skills that will help in surviving and thriving in the new economy was already being discussed before the Covid-19 crisis. It appears now that the economy is going to change even more drastically. Read all about it here.
Coping with today, planning for tomorrow: We need to understand that the lockdown has helped only to slow down the progression of the infection and has done precious little to eradicate it. Flattening the curve only gives the healthcare system a breather, to prepare for the onslaught of the virus. Read here about how the real problems will start when the lockdown ends.
Why frequent hand washes are not feasible for millions of Indians: Only 50 per cent of rural Indians and 80 per cent urban Indians use soap and water to wash their hands. Water scarcity is a daily reality for a majority of Indians. Read here about how this can impact how the country manages Covid-19.
Why West Bengal is a matter for concern: West Bengal had reported only 696 cases as of Wednesday evening, but both its doubling rate and the reproduction number were among the highest for any state with a significant number of cases. Read more here.
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz on Covid-19: The developed world needs to provide support to emerging economies, failing which the global effects of the pandemic will be even more devastating than imagined. Stiglitz says that while compassion should be sufficient motivation for advanced countries to support a multilateral response, it is also a matter of self-interest. As long as the pandemic is still raging anywhere, it will pose a threat – both epidemiological and economic – everywhere. Read the interview here.
What a second wave of Covid-19 could look like: If the infections are sporadic and kept under control, death rates will stay low, and life may inch back towards normalcy. If they’re large, countries and regions may need to dive back into the shutdown mode, extending the pandemic’s economic damage. Read more about the impact of future Covid-19 infections.
How dead coronavirus particles could be affecting the outcome of test results: Coronavirus patients who remain positive weeks after diagnosis may harbour dead virus particles that can’t be distinguished from infectious ones in standard tests, scientists in South Korea have found. Read more here.
Antibody from llamas could help block coronavirus entry into cells, say researchers: Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, the National Institutes of Health in the US, and Ghent University in Belgium, have reported their findings about a potential avenue for a coronavirus treatment involving llamas. The researchers have linked two copies of a special kind of antibody produced by llamas to create a new antibody that binds tightly to the spike protein on the coronavirus which causes Covid-19. Read more here.
Lockdown after reopening can diminish credibility: Ex-RBI chief Raghuram Rajan spoke to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and its aftermath. Watch the video here.