India coronavirus dispatch: Manage Covid-19 with the science, not myths

Topics Coronavirus | Lockdown

A health worker sanitises an area near Nizamuddin mosque, after people who attended the religious congregation at Tabligh-e-Jamaat's Markaz, tested postive for Covid-19. Photo: PTI
Here is a roundup of articles in Indian news publications on how India is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. From trusting science and not myths, to managing the future cases, and why the country’s fight against Covid-19 needs wartime industrial production – read these and more in today’s India dispatch.

Expert Speak

Podcast – Putting coronavirus myths to rest: No, mosquitoes do not worsen the pandemic, and drinking water will NOT wash down the virus. Listen to Dr Faheem Younus, chief quality officer and chief of infectious diseases at the University of Maryland, who emphasises the need to trust science and not myths.

Citizens Under Lockdown

With no food or government aid, loom workers in Bhiwandi fear the worst: Bhiwandi has workers from Assam, West Bengal and Karnataka, among other states. The decision to heed the government’s advice and stay put is proving calamitous for most labourers. Read why.

Stuck at home during coronavirus lockdown, Indians are teleconsulting with doctors: Since the beginning of March, the number of patients seeking teleconsultation on digital health care platform Practo, has tripled from around 30 such cases per doctor on a usual day. Read here about why this is happening and how doctors are managing this demand.

Companies are giving Indians working from home too much work: Indians, especially those with children, are struggling to manage work from home. Many feel that going forward, organisations need to have a crisis management system, which will also set guidelines on how employees are treated when there is a pandemic, health crisis or any unusual disaster. Read more here.

Long Reads

Urgent steps must be taken, so the caseload does not explode after lockdown is lifted: Preparation is key to managing Covid-19 once the lockdown ends. There is an urgent need to protect healthcare workers, create healthy pockets and address psychological consequences among other action points. Read more about what needs to be done.


Beyond social distancing to fight Covid-19: There is a need to think beyond quarantine and social distancing, and address problems of the fallout from globalisation in dealing with the pandemic in the global South. Read here to understand what they are.

Coronavirus has revealed just how much our cities exclude the poor: The recent lockdown and pandemic have revealed the depth of that exclusion. Shunted from city to city, migrant workers are now quarantined wherever they managed to reach in their long march homewards. Read more here.

Managing Covid-19

India’s fight against Covid-19 needs wartime industrial production, not more red tape: The Covid-19 industrial response has to be on a proverbial war-footing, which means the usual processes of government procurement will not do. A credible industrial response will translate into better and cheaper provisioning for India’s overall healthcare sector in the years ahead. Read more here.

Sanitisers to migrant shelters — Rajasthan’s Covid-19 fight is a public-private venture: Rajasthan is among the worst-affected states, and there are fears that the textile hub of Bhilwara could turn into a super cluster. Read how the state is attempting to manage the pandemic.

Tamil Nadu CM writes on how the state is stopping the pandemic in its tracks: Tamil Nadu’s priority is to focus on the eradication of the pandemic, and after achieving that, to provide the necessary thrust to the economy. Read what the CM has to say about Tamil Nadu’s management of Covid-19.

Understanding Covid-19

How does alcohol in sanitisers (and soap) kill the coronavirus? Handwashing for 20 seconds at least kills the virus. When using a sanitiser, it should ideally have an alcohol content of 60 per cent or more. Read more about this here.

Do masks help? Experts say even DIY masks are useful as Covid-19 is unrelenting: Using a DIY (do it yourself) mask made of cotton tee shirts would be “better than no protection” against influenza viruses. While wearing a mask doesn’t offer a foolproof protection, it could likely prevent many cases of infection if used properly. Read here to understand why.

No, there is no ‘Indian Coronavirus’ that is weaker than the viruses elsewhere: However obvious something might seem, you still have to test it. One cannot draw conclusions on mutations without testing them first. Read here to understand that there is no ‘Indian coronavirus’.

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