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India’s COVID-19 Dilemma: Complacency And Ridicule Both Dangerous!

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No doubt India has been able to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 in the country with several states becoming free of the virus and many districts not reporting new cases in weeks. The Government of India also expressed its optimism which seemed to be reasonable as we had seen earlier on these pages. However, this optimism should not be misinterpreted so as to indicate that we have won the battle against the killer virus. Opinions are emerging, based on this optimism and the great humanitarian debate of lives Vs livelihoods, that lockdown can be relaxed now to help the struggling economy. The basic point to understand here is that the world still does not know much about the novel Coronavirus, and so its future course of action is uncertain and undefined. Also, that there was no option to fight the virus spread than by enforcing strict lockdown. We have seen several countries like Russia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia etc. that have a similar experience like

India Lockdown: Economic Inequalities Make The Poor The Hardest Hit!

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The stark economic inequalities in India make the poor the hardest hit—in any calamity that strikes, the Lockdown in the wake of the spread of Coronavirus being no exception. As per a study by Oxfam International in 2017 about 1% of the population held 73% of the national wealth generation while the wealth of 670 million people, the poorest half of Indian population, increased by just 1%.   Then, a NSSO (National Sample Survey Organization) study in 2009-10 reported that the total employment in the country was 465 million out of which only 28 million worked in the organized sector and the remaining 437 million in the unorganized sector. Out of the unorganized sector workforce about 246 million worked in the agricultural sector, 44 million in construction and the rest in manufacturing and service. About 93% of the Indian workforce was engaged as self-employed and in the unorganized sector as per the Economic Survey of 2007-08. With growing urbanization, a world trend, the sc

India Fights COVID-19: Government Is Optimistic!

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PIB Yesterday, in its daily press briefing, the Government of India said that in India the growth rate in COVID-19 cases is linear, and not exponential as has been witnessed in many countries around the world. The Government has reiterated this with renewed confidence in its press briefing today also. Although the spike in new Coronavirus cases in the country is the highest at 1684 in the last 24 hours, the Government maintains that the overall growth rate in cases has been following a set pattern, and the doubling rate of cases has come down to 10 ten days as against 3 days in the beginning of the first Lockdown on 25 th March, 2020. As to the hidden sources of illness that could possibly trigger a sudden spike unawares, the Government denied such a scenario, thanks to its constant surveillance of cases of fever, flu and pneumonia in the country. The decision to impose lockdown at a very early stage and later its extension is being hailed as the key to this success in effe

It’s Not Criminal To Be COVID-19 Positive! Don’t Spread Hatred!

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The modus operandi is rather strikingly similar: a likely COVID19 patient is called a ‘suspect’; on that suspicion s/he is put under quarantine which can be similar to ‘house arrest’; investigations begin to trace the source of his/her ‘infection’ (crime?) and to collate the information about all his/her ‘contacts’ or the persons s/he was last seen with; if a patient is found in a larger society building the whole building is immediately ‘sealed’ meaning no person can either leave or enter the premises. Let the similarity end there. The essential point worldwide is that the authorities have no other alternative to effectively control the virus, and so nothing in that should imply a crime of any sort. People know and understand this, but act differently when it happens near or threatens to happen near him/her. Since it is a human-to-human virus suspicions build up too quickly: if someone coughs or sneezes nearby or even in the next house people get fearful lest the virus att