India coronavirus dispatch: Rethinking housing scene for workers post Covid

A health worker collects a sample of a woman for COVID-19 test at a medical camp, during Unlock 2.0, in Chennai
Managing Covid-19 

Covid-19 deaths in West Bengal cross 900: West Bengal on Saturday recorded 26 more deaths due to COVID-19 taking the number of casualties to 906. The State recorded yet another highest single-day spike of 1,344 cases in 24 hours, taking the tally to 28,453.The active cases rose to 9,558. Of the 26 deaths, 16 were recorded in Kolkata alone, five in the North 24 Parganas, four in Howrah and one in the South 24 Parganas. With the fresh spurt, the recovery rate also dropped to 63.11 per cent. Read more here.

Star of Dharavi success, but few takers in Delhi — how fever clinics have fared across India: Ask Maharashtra, and they will laud the role played by fever clinics in controlling Covid-19 in slums like Dharavi, which presented an alarming prospect as a hotspot in the early days of the pandemic. But don’t expect the same enthusiasm from Andhra Pradesh, where the government dismisses fever clinics as a bureaucratic concept. Set up as the first line of defence in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, fever clinics have evoked a mixed response around India. Read more here

Jaipur’s SMS Hospital shows how ‘test, trace, isolate’ mantra can really work against Covid: As early as March, Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Medical College and Hospital, the district’s nodal facility for Covid-19, had become an example to follow for the rest of Rajasthan in how it managed the health crisis. According to data on 27 June (the latest available district-wise data), the hospital had an 86 per cent recovery rate with 1,003 of the 1,242 patients being discharged, while 67 were shifted to other hospitals. There were 162 deaths. The state has since stopped releasing district-wise data. Read more here

Has Delhi crossed its peak? Too soon to say: Even as the novel coronavirus cases in India cross 8 lakh, there is a glimmer of hope coming in from one of its worst-hit cities: Delhi. After witnessing a single-day spike of almost 4,000 on June 23, Delhi recorded only 1.379 cases on July 6, fanning speculation about the capital having crossed its peak. But are we jumping the gun? Read more here


Homes can shelter India’s China dream after Covid: Giving rural migrants an incentive to return is crucial to restoring economic activity to pre-Covid levels. But there’s an opportunity here to do much more. For India to industrialise, rethinking the housing situation will be as important as freeing the urban poor from large medical bills and helping them build retirement savings. If the country of 1.3 billion people wants to be a factory to the world — the next China — it must start by giving workers low-cost living quarters. Read more here

Is education only about decoding a bland paragraph & performing an arithmetic operation?
The problem that must be addressed first, even before learning, is hunger. At a time when one out of three children is malnourished, nutrition must be a priority. There are different ways of ensuring this. First, even while schools are shut, mid-day meal rations can be distributed every 15 days. But mid-day meals alone cannot address malnutrition. Hence, the million-plus anganwadis in the country should also be activated. They can distribute take-home rations every 15 days. In containment zones, there should be doorstep delivery. Gram panchayats, should oversee this essential activity. Read more here

Understanding Covid-19

Scientists warn of potential wave of Covid-linked brain damage: Scientists warned of a potential wave of coronavirus-related brain damage as new evidence suggested Covid-19 can lead to severe neurological complications, including inflammation, psychosis and delirium. A study by researchers at UCL described 43 cases of Covid-19 patients who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage or other serious brain effects. The research adds to recent studies which also found the disease can damage the brain. Read more here

Peer-reviewed JNU study among 2 that link BCG & Covid again, but some experts not convinced: Two studies released this week, one led by Indian researchers from JNU, brought back a theory that first emerged in the early days of the pandemic — that BCG vaccination may be linked to reduced Covid-19 transmission and mortality. Read more here

Gilead data shows remdesivir reduces mortality risk by 62 per cent among Covid patients: Data from Gilead, the pharma company producing remdesivir, shows that the use of the drug on Covid-19 patients was associated with significantly improved clinical recovery and a 62 per cent reduction in the risk of mortality compared to standard of care. The data, released Friday, includes results from 312 patients from Phase III of Gilead’s SIMPLE-Severe trial, which seeks to establish safety and efficacy of the drug, and a separate real-world retrospective cohort of 818 patients with similar characteristics and disease severity as the study. Read more here

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