India coronavirus dispatch: Opportunity to bolster economy in medium term

Topics Coronavirus | Lockdown

FILE PHOTO: A medic conducts screening of a patient as part of a precautionary measure for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, at a government run hospital in New Delhi | PTI photo
Here is a round-up of articles from news publications on how India is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic — from an opportunity to strengthen the economy, to an urgent need for safety gears, and whether behavioural science can help address the fears of migrants.

Expert Speak

How can the Coronavirus pandemic in India end? The foremost questions is – when will this end? What toll will it take on our population? Amitabh Sinha details what scientists believe is the most likely scenario for the Covid-19 outbreak, how long it will take and what a post-lockdown life could look like. Listen to the podcast here.

Citizens Under Lockdown

Couples live-stream weddings under lockdown: As we battle the novel coronavirus crisis, couples from all over the world have been stripping down their big fat weddings to the bare essentials: a commitment to stay together through thick and thin. Read more here.

Social stigma towards mental health should not bother you in lockdown: Being anxious is the ‘new normal, because the situation is unprecedented. To cope with this ‘new normal’ it is important to let go of the stigma associated with seeking mental help. It is okay to contact a therapist. Read here to understand about mental health during the ongoing pandemic.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms during lockdown: Telangana and Kerala have seen a spike in illicit liquor use, even as de-addiction centres see a rush of persons suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. How are the states and the citizens coping? Read more here.

Long Reads

As the lockdown dawned, research in India’s labs ground to a halt: Research across labs in India has ground to a halt, with campus hostels evacuated of most research scholars and scientists worried about animal house maintenance and the potential loss of chemicals and cell-lines. What has been the broader impact on research? Read more here.


How coronavirus crisis can be converted into opportunity to fundamentally strengthen Indian economy: Much of the policy discussion and the government’s first response have focused on addressing the immediate imperatives. But this crisis is also an opportunity to do things that are not only good for now but for the medium term as well. Revamp macro-fiscal framework, Re-shape Indian agriculture, establish migrants as full citizens, among other things. Read more here.

Can behavioural science help address the fears of migrant workers? Behavioural research has shown that a behaviour system has three components — capability, opportunity and motivation. To arrive at a particular, desired behaviour, all three need to be addressed. The nationwide lockdown brings with itself expectations of changes in everyday behaviour.  Read here on how understanding this and using behavioural science can be used to help migrant workers.

Managing Covid-19

Every day brings challenges, heartbreaks, acts of inspiration: This virus is deadly and infectious enough. We don’t need to add to its lethal prowess by holding on to our past legacy of mutual distrust. For all the threat it represents, this epidemic is also an opportunity for police forces in India to redeem themselves in the eyes of their fellow citizens by exemplary standards of courage, professionalism and service. Read more here.

Malaria season looms as India struggles to contain Covid-19: As India grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, the yearly malaria crisis is looming and must get due attention, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the medical journal Lancet have warned in separate statements. “Do not scale back your planned malaria prevention, diagnostic and treatment activities,” Read the reasons why.

Docs fighting coronavirus urgently need safety gear, not insurance from Modi govt: Instead of taking curative steps like giving insurance to healthcare professionals who treat patients affected by coronavirus, the Modi government must focus on implementing preventive steps like providing them World Health Organization (WHO)-approved protective gear. Read more here.

Understanding Covid-19

All about the N95 masks, how they evolved: N95 masks differ from masks in that they can stop particles of 0.3 Microns and above in size, including bacteria and viruses. But how did masks come to become an integral part of healthcare self-protection equipment? Read more here.

Army scientists’ study says Covid-19 cases could dive, but there’s a catch: There is little clarity on what could come after in terms of the epidemic itself, and this is where disease modelling experts can fill the gaps. Read more to understand what more the study says.

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