Here is a summary of important articles from Indian publications on Covid-19. From the social media infodemic to the trends shaping the post-Covid-19 world, and why the need for labor reforms should not be combined with complete deregulation – read this and more in today’s Indian dispatch.
How pediatricians and obstetricians are dealing with Covid-19 cases and fears: The city of Mumbai has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, and some hospitals and doctors report more cases of pregnant women and children who have contracted the virus. Read this interview with Ravindra Chittal, consulting pediatrician and neonatologist at Hinduja Hospital and Lilavati Hospital, and Kiran Coelho, head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, at Lilavati Hospital, to discover how this affects the general problem in terms of ability to respond and care these cases and the treatment route being followed.
The need for labor reforms should not be combined with complete deregulation: While some rigid labor laws have long been delayed, a cautionary note needs to be issued on the proposed Uttar Pradesh government ordinance. There is no doubt that many of the provisions of labor law in India are overly intrusive and have strengthened the raj inspector license and rent seeking. Rationalization of existing laws is imperative, for the sake of labor flexibility for employers and universal legal protection for workers. However, there is a need for clearer thinking about some of the weak assumptions and general generalizations that have been part of the case of labor reforms. Read more here.
The Covid-19 social media infodemic requires a multiple approach: The outbreak requires the global community to take a dual approach to address both information overload and misinformation about the virus. Misinformation is information that is not based on facts inadvertently sent to influence public opinion or hide the truth. Its dangers are far-reaching and have serious implications. Read here on how in a “infodemic” crisis, a “cocktail approach” to deal with the spread of misinformation, where systemic initiatives must be leveraged with individual efforts, may be the way to go.
The trends that shape the post-Covid-19 world: As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads rapidly across nations, country after country has responded with a blockade, triggering a global economic crisis. Certain geopolitical trend lines were already discernible, but Covid-19 shock therapy has focused them more precisely, defining the contours of the emerging global (dis) order. Former diplomat Rakesh Sood highlights six trends including withdrawal from the United States, intra-European fission, and fading multilateral organizations, among others. Read what each of them means.
PMJDY cash transfers will exclude many of India’s poorest: India launched its largest cash transfer program targeting women, with Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts and increased food subsidies. Given the scale of economic hardship, many have called for an increase in cash transfers. Cash is easy to transport and widely accepted. An analysis of nationally representative survey data suggests that these transfers will exclude many of India’s poorest and come too late for others. Read here on why the immediate need is to focus on distributing adequate food support to all the poor who need it.
Citizens under confinement
Bihar weavers caught up in the warp and plot of the crisis: The looms in the Gaya and Bhagalpur districts already faced problems such as the high price of yarn and the low availability of dyes in the local market. Still, the informal sector was succeeding. Read here How about 11,000 power looms in Gaya, and 4,000 handlooms and 15,000 power looms in Bhagalpur, remained inactive after a blockade went into effect.
6 questions you can ask to detect erroneous information about the coronavirus: Sensational videos, memes, rants, and more about Covid-19 are likely to keep coming. With society polarized and deep distrust of the media, government, and other institutions, that content is one way for bad actors to sow discord. This piece It offers some criteria for examining all the content we see every day, so we can distinguish between a fair report and something so partial that it should not be taken seriously.
For dialysis and chemotherapy patients, the Covid-19 test every week is a forced “rule” in private hospitals: Private hospitals in Delhi and Mumbai require weekly coronavirus tests for their dialysis and chemotherapy patients, despite orders from the central and state government that all hospitals treat non-Covid-19 patients without these tests. Read more here.
Returning migrants increase Bihar’s Covid-19 numbers, state struggles for faster tests: The return of migrant workers to their home state of Bihar has resulted in an increase in Covid-19 cases. The state recorded its biggest jump in a single day in cases of 105 on Sunday, and all of them were workers returning from other states. Read here about the response and the state tests.
ICMR Elisa indigenous antibody test approved for mass production: The National Institute of Virology, Pune, has developed the first “Indian Indian” anti-SARS-CoV-2 human IgG ELISA test kit – “Kavach Elisa” – for the detection of Covid-19 antibodies. The technology has been transferred to Zydus Cadila for massive scale. Read more here.
Obesity puts younger people at risk for severe Covid-19: Obesity could make Covid-19 infection more severe, according to a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet. “[I]In populations with a high prevalence of obesity, Covid-19 will affect younger populations more than previously reported. ” Read more here.
Covid-19 Vitamin D Binding: A new study has found an association between low average vitamin D levels and a high number of Covid-19 cases and death rates in 20 European countries. The research, led by scientists from the Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the United Kingdom and the Lynn NHS Foundation Trust of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King, is published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. Read more here.