Here’s a round-up of important coronavirus-related articles from across Indian publications. From knowledge sharing in the time of Covid-19 pandemic, to quarantine guidelines for healthcare workers and why your risk of getting sick from coronavirus could lie in your genes – read these and more in today’s India digest.
Why India may not see the kind of Covid-19 outbreak that rest of the world has seen: While questions have been asked about India’s Covid-19 testing rate and apprehensions have been raised on its rising number of undetected cases, Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), explains why the nation is likely to fare better than most other affected nations. He also talks about the effectiveness of the nationwide lockdown in curbing the spread of the virus. Read it here.
Citizens Under Lockdown
Covid-19 stigma is a major roadblock in India’s path to recovery. Here’s how to beat it: Research shows that at the height of the HIV crisis, stigma and misinformation were among key factors that prevented people from seeking testing and care until it was too late. Community narratives and patients’ accounts during other health crises, including tuberculosis and the more recent Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), show similar trends. People often do not like to talk about disease-related stigma as it exposes their collective prejudices. Some even doubt that such prejudices exist. But the truth is that it is only natural to be fearful and anxious. Read more here.
Sex workers, high-risk for Covid-19, seek government help: Hit by the lockdown and advised to practise social distancing, sex workers in Mumbai, Kolkata and Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh) have received no assistance from the government, and they have barely any money to get by, feed their families and buy medicines. Read more here.
Lockdown & boredom: Yes, domestic helps are ‘bored’. The fear of loss of income, livelihood, rising domestic violence, being shut up in a small confined rooms in tenements with other family members – are key causes for worry. Yet, there are also other reasons why there is worry and anxiety. Just as we are expressing our frustrations at being confined and bored, so are domestic workers. Read more here.
Ingenuity and knowledge-sharing in the time of Covid-19: On the one hand, vaccine scientists and medical researchers are working double time to find a cure for Covid-19, along with managing the symptoms. On the other, medical researchers, vaccine scientists and doctors are also sharing their findings and on-ground experiences quickly to build a large collective pool of information. Read here on why sharing knowledge will help save lives globally and may even help find a Covid-19 cure faster.
Perennial lockdown is not a remedy. India must isolate and insulate: The young are relatively safe from Covid-19 and can develop the base for herd immunity which would leave only the old to be locked down and protected. The switch now required of the political leadership is persuading that segment of the populace to partake of economic activities while taking all precautions and informing them even getting infected is not the end of the world. Read here to understand why it could well be the end of the world for India’s aspiration to be a leading power if the lockdown continues.
Will the coronavirus crisis change how the Indian middle classes think about food? The unequal impact of the coronavirus lockdown is most evident when it comes to food. The richest have stocked up on exotic ingredients and drinks. Many among the middle classes have hoarded essentials in panic. This has meant there would be even less for those who could not afford to stock up. Read here to know why the scarcities may soon catch up with everyone, as supply chains are disrupted by the lockdown.
Will the aviation industry recover from the pandemic? The aviation industry, like several other sectors, is facing a crisis in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. With travel restrictions, grounded fleets, benched staff, schedule uncertainties, ticket liabilities and cash burn, questions are being raised on whether the civil aviation sector could survive the epidemic. Aviation experts Mohan Ranganathan, a retired airline instructor pilot and an aviation safety expert, and Jitender Bhargava, a former airline executive director, weigh in on the steps needed for a recovery. Read them here.
India urgently needs quarantine guidelines for its healthcare workers (HCWs): After the second lockdown is lifted, our healthcare system may not be able to afford so many HCWs being absent from their stations. This is why it’s for health authorities to quickly install a rational and evidence-based pan-Indian guideline to quarantine HCWs, or at least provide some granular way to rationally manage the situation. Such guidelines will help hospitals function smoothly, help HCWs feel safe and con-serve our health workforce. Read more here.
Your risk of getting sick from coronavirus could lie in your genes: Some people experience Covid-19 as nothing more than a mild cold, and others exhibit no symptoms at all. And then there are thousands who get sick and even die. Scientists are working hard to understand the underlying reasons for such huge discrepancies in symptoms and outcomes. One reason could be that it is locked deep in our genetic makeup. Read more here.
What does it mean to be immunocompromised during Covid-19? A person from any age group can become immunocompromised either due to certain medical treatments or due to diseases such as auto-immune diseases. Conversely, reports have indicated that in some Covid-19 patients, even seemingly healthy ones, death has occurred. Read more to understand why and what can be done to manage this.