India Coronavirus Dispatch: Pandemic has disrupted HIV testing frequency

The Covid-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus the relationship people around the world have with the ocean
Covid disrupted HIV care in Asia-Pacific, 46% dip in frequency of taking tests, survey finds

More than one in three among those who are at risk of contracting HIV have reported they had either decreased or stopped taking HIV preventive medicine, a survey has found.

According to a pulse survey conducted by Kantar Health, funded by biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences with guidance and support from the AIDS Society of India, about 50 per cent of prescribers also reported a decline in prescribing refill antiretroviral medication (ART) to Persons Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (PLHIV). Read more here

Covid fear looms at protest site but farmers say ‘Modi’s black laws’ greater threat

Farmers protesting at the Delhi-Haryana border, huddled in tractor-trolleys without wearing masks, as part of their agitation against the central government’s farm laws have triggered concerns of a further spread of the novel coronavirus in the national capital.

With such a large gathering of farmers, many of them aged above 60 years, camping at the border without following any Covid safety protocol, there are fears that the protest site could turn into a hotspot. Read more here

India: Many MBBS students are being put on Covid duty under improper conditions

The state governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, and Delhi have asked medical students to join Covid-19 duties due to a shortage of doctors. In July, the Gujarat government mandated final-year MBBS students to report for Covid-19 duty in municipal corporation-run medical colleges. The Delhi government has asked even second- and third-year students to sign-up for Covid-19 duty.

Students in Gujarat were threatened with debarment from university examinations and were sent show-cause notices under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act 2005 if they didn’t report to colleges. Yet even after having worked for two months, they are yet to receive their promised stipend of Rs 500 per day. Read more here

Pandemic's economic effects persist on ground as families continue to struggle for jobs, food

While the stock markets may have rebounded and the GDP numbers may be showing meager improvement in the last quarter, on the ground, the economic distress caused by Covid-19 persists – with many unable to find jobs they lost during the pandemic and a large number of families struggling to even access food.

These aspects of the pandemic related crisis, accentuated by the Centre’s inadequate response, were highlighted during an online public hearing on Monday.

The event, organised by Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, witnessed several slum dwellers, daily wagers, construction workers, homeless people, widow-headed households, and people from families with disabilities speaking about the hardships they continue to face. Read more here

In a post-Covid world, lessons in living must come from the ocean

The Covid-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus the relationship people around the world have with the ocean, says John Kurien, a professor at Azim Premji University who researches fishing communities. As lockdowns eased, people flocked to the seashore and the beaches as the oceans’ appeal to the inner stirrings of both body and soul became more pronounced.

The pandemic also brought to attention the important role that small-scale fisheries and local value chains play in our fish food systems. When global value chains faltered, retailers and consumers turned to the local fleets and supply chains. These value chains, once dismissed as inefficient and unsuited to modernity, have come to our rescue. Read more here

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