India coronavirus dispatch: How close are we to a Covid-19 vaccine?

All patients who test positive for the novel coronavirus in Delhi will be referred to Covid care centres (CCCs) to decide if they can be isolated at their homes
Opinion

Cut interest rates, increase liquidity, allow fiscal deficit to widen as a response to Covid crisis:
So what is the first response in this case? Do the opposite of what is done in a typical EM crisis: Cut interest rates, increase liquidity support, and allow the fiscal deficit to widen. The RBI has done the first two generously, although with the coming disinflation, it needs to cut interest rates much more. The government’s approach to fiscal policy, however, seems ambivalent. Read more here

Will Bihar's economy rise to the reverse migration challenge? A CMIE survey pegged unem-ployment in Bihar for April 2020 at 46.6 per cent (or 20 percentage points above the national rate). NSO’s PLFS (2019) unemployment rate in Bihar (7.2 percent) was already higher than the national average (6.1 percent). In Bihar, East Champaran, Katihar, Madhubani, Gaya, West Champaran, Darbhanga, Araria and Muzaffarpur are the major districts for return migrants. Given this backdrop, the larger question is whether these migrant workers will go back to their previous place of work or go to other states any time soon. Read more here

Managing Covid-19

There’s a rush for Covid medical insurance but the cover comes with a catch: Insurance sales are zooming with looking to buy tailor-made insurance policies to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Insurance companies are bringing in specific policies to cover hospitalisation and treatment charges, on account of hospitalisation due to the novel coronavirus, or even home care. While claims for overhead charges like PPE kit costs are being approved by a few insurers, other charges that some hospitals levy, like those for sanitisation and sterilisation, plus items like sanitisers and gloves, are being rejected. Read more here 

Indian women more likely to die of Covid-19 than men, but more data needed to know why: The gendered impact of Covid-19 is a concern for other countries in Southeast Asia as well, with data from the region suggesting that women are facing greater barriers accessing information related to Covid-19, facing longer wait times at health facilities and having a harder time accessing healthcare. Read more here

Home isolation of Covid patients in Delhi: what you must know: All patients who test positive for the novel coronavirus in Delhi will be referred to Covid care centres (CCCs) to decide if they can be isolated at their homes. What happens when a person tests positive for Covid-19 in Delhi? How is it decided whether the person goes into home quarantine?   Read more about it here

India's economic recovery likely to be 'U' shaped and not 'V': analysts: India’s economic recov-ery is more likely to be a ‘U’ or ‘W’ shaped rather than ‘V’ as the impact of Covid-19 will be pro-found on a nation that was already struggling for growth prior to the pandemic, analysts said. For India, the outbreak of the pandemic came at a most inopportune time as the economy showed nas-cent signs of recovery after bold measures, from both the government and the Reserve Bank of In-dia. Read more here

Understanding Covid-19

 
How close are we to a Covid-19 vaccine? What’s the testing process? We may have a vaccine for emergency use by November, though experts have said getting regulatory approval followed by mass production and supply chain issues may push the development into next year. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Solidarity Trial, the UK’s Recovery Trial and the US’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ are three of the leading scientific efforts pivoting research in the battle against Covid-19. Read more here

Coronavirus has made ‘obsessive-compulsive’ behaviour normal. Where should we draw the line? One of the hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder is contamination fears and excessive hand-washing. Years ago, a patient with severe OCD came to my office wearing gloves and a mask and refused to sit on any of the “contaminated” chairs. Now, these same behaviours are accepted and even encouraged to keep everyone healthy. This new normal in the face of a deadly pandemic has permeated our culture and will continue to influence it. Read more here

What is Covid sero survey? Why is Delhi undertaking it? The National Centre for Disease Con-trol (NCDC) will conduct a sero-surveillance study across all 11 districts of Delhi, later this week in June, to determine the exposure of the national capital to the virus, reported ANI. Read here on all that is known about the survey and the significance of the study.

Podcast
Can we be optimistic about the potential Covid-19 cures yet? With the infection numbers reach-ing 8 million worldwide, several researches, studies and trials are being carried out simultaneously to urgently look into the effects of anti-viral drugs, steroids and repurposed drugs on Covid-19 pa-tients. In just over the last month, there have been a few developments. But how optimistic are doc-tors and experts about these developments? Listen here
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