As coronavirus cases spike, India begins preparations for Stage 3

India has begun preparing for Stage-3 of the outbreak following recommendation from members of the COVID-19 task force, even as Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) continues to maintain that there is no evidence of community transmission in the country yet.

RBI joins coronavirus fight with big-bang rate move, EMI's put o hold

A day after Modi govt began its economy rescue in right earnest with a Rs 1.70 lakh crore coronavirus counter, the Reserve Bank of India joined the big fight today with a host of measures aimed at minimising the damage from Covid-19.
 

722 Quarantined Delhi Locals’ Personal Data Circulated on WhatsApp

In a shocking development related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a document containing the personal information of 722 residents of New Delhi, including phone numbers, full address, and passport number, have been circulated on WhatsApp.

This serious violation of the fundamental Right to Privacy comes after a similar revelation in Bengaluru where the state’s Health Department itself had uploaded a list of 15,000 individuals, with their address and phone number, on Twitter.

Kerala uses open source public utility to fight COVID-19

To combat the spread of the virus and to prepare itself to face the untoward situation where its healthcare system that consists of 37,021 hospital beds collapses, CoronaSafe Network has been launched, which is an open source public utility designed by a multi-disciplinary team of innovators and volunteers who are working on a model to support Government efforts with full understanding and support of the Government of Kerala. 

How the Kerala government is shaping and implementing its COVID-19 response

In an article in The Hindu on 23 March, Kerala’s minister of health, KK Shailaja, talked about how her ministry had initiated discussions on the outbreak “as early as mid-January.” She added, “When various countries started confirming cases, Kerala was the first State to draft measures for its containment. The measures became more stringent when the State reported its first case on January 30.”

‘We Are Not Corona’: Northeast Students Make Posters Against Racial Abuse

Owing to COVID-19, there has been a mass migration of the migrant students and workers from the Northeast back to their respective states. The ones remaining have to not only physically distance and take precautions to protect themselves from COVID 19 but also have to fight the double battle of resisting racist attacks as well.

West Bengal: Man Who Was Buying Milk Dies Hours After Police Thrash Him

 A 32-year-old man in West Bengal’s Howrah district died hours after he was thrashed by police for stepping out of his house to buy milk during the nationwide lockdown on Wednesday. According to India Today, his family says the man died of the injuries sustained during the police’s assault on him.

Coronavirus Lockdown II: How serious could the impact be on Indian economy and GDP

In an economy already reeling under a demand depression, rising unemployment, and lowering of industrial output and profits, all of which happening together for several quarters now, a supply-side constraint would deliver a big blow, jeopardising growth prospects and social and economic wellbeing of a large number of people.

Viruses Don’t Discriminate: Are India’s Covid-19 Measures Disabled-Friendly?

With COVID-19 continuously spreading within the general population across India, the risk related to the virus is increasing as these are new to the human immune system. But a group that faces additional risks and consequences, as well as anxieties, is people with disabilities, their immediate caregivers and/or people with chronic illnesses.

Centre directs states to provide COVID-19 info to disabled persons in accessible format

Secretary of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Shakuntala Gamlin told PTI here that she wrote a letter to the chief secretaries of all the states/UTs to immediately direct their health and publicity departments to disseminate all the information relating to COVID-19 in an accessible format to disabled persons. 

Similarly, they have been asked to give priority to the treatment of PWD in medical centres as per section 25 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, she said

Coronavirus: ‘How do I reach a hospital?’ Cancer and kidney patients worry about 21-day lockdown

“It is my responsibility, the responsibility of the government of India, of state governments, to save the life of each and every Indian,” Modi said in his speech.

But what happens to patients like Gomes and Banerjee who have life-threatening conditions that require urgent medical care? Will they be able to reach hospitals as transport dries up? Will hospitals have adequate facilities and staff to cater to them?

Stigma: the other enemy India’s overworked doctors face in the battle against Covid-19

Fully under the grip of the global pandemic, the country is reporting cases of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, on the frontline of the battle, being shunned by others for fear of being infected. This includes the threat of being evicted from their own apartments and general ostracism.

How will India lockdown play out for economy & markets: 4 scenarios

With fresh coronavirus cases on the rise in India, the nation has started witnessing second-round effects of the virus spread: a complete halt to economic activity.

The government, analysts said, must consider more measures to tackle the situation, if third round of effects – job losses, stretched balance sheets, lower capex and weak consumer demand – are to be tamed.

Amidst a Lockdown, Why Must Cops Wield the Lathi With Such Impunity and Callousness?

There have been several reports of police highhandedness – beating with lathis and resorting to public humiliation to enforce the lockdown – not only against common people but also those associated with essential services. Incidents of such misbehaviour have been reported from across the country, indicating that they reflect a problem with the fundamental character of the police in India and are neither isolated nor region-specific.

Imagine the Indian lockdown without the internet and phones. Now think Kashmir

At 8pm local time, on March 24, prime minister Narendra Modi gave 1.3 billion Indians a four-hour notice to confine themselves to their homes for the next 21 days. The national health emergency, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, suddenly plunged the country into uncharted waters, with most people having no experience in navigating them.

In these dark times, one place that most Indians can look up to for guidance is Kashmir, with its three decades of experience with such crises.

COVID-19 in India: Doctors demand protective gear

On March 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through a live telecast, addressed the nation asking for a public curfew on March 22.

He also requested the citizens to come out in their balconies and terraces at 5 p.m. (1130GMT) on Sunday to clap, bang utensils or ring bells to express their gratitude to those providing essential services, particularly medical professionals, during the coronavirus crisis.

While his request was taken seriously by the majority of the nation, who clapped and cheered for the doctors, the doctors came out on social media asking the citizens and the government to do more than just applause.

India’s coronavirus lockdown and its looming crisis, explained

Despite swift and early moves to restrict air travel, the central government’s main problem is the quality and scarcity of testing. Without the data from that testing, Indian health officials are being forced to make life-or-death decisions without reliable information about who does and who doesn’t carry Covid-19.

Journalists Capture Heartbreaking Images of Jobless Migrants Walking Home after Covid-19 Lockdown

ith modes of public transport shut for 21 days and economic activities at a standstill, migrant daily wage workers have been one of the worst-hit as India began a total lockdown to counter coronavirus.

From Wednesday onward, a mass exodus of migrant workers began as many took to walking the long roads home. On March 25, hundreds of migrant workers from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, were seen walking back to their homes in Gujarat as jobs, even as jobs ran dry in cities.

“We are deserted”: Migrant workers forced to walk hundreds of kilometres due to lockdown

Casual workers and migrant labourers had set out from Mumbai after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared an unanticipated 21-day nationwide lockdown on the night of 24 March to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in India. This triggered a wave of panic, leaving scores of workers to fend for themselves without any administrative assistance from the central government machinery.

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India May be in Stage 3: COVID-19 Hospital Task Force Convener

“Yes, we are calling it Stage 3. Officially we may not call it – but it is the beginning of Stage 3,” said Dr Girdhar Gyani, the convenor of a task force on COVID-19 hospitals, in an interview to the The Quint.

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Ground Report: The Medics Modi Asked Us to Cheer Are Handling COVID-19 Patients Unprotected

In the brightly-lit casualty ward no. 18 of Rukmanibai Hospital in Kalyan, a young doctor in his 30s sits with a slouch, exhausted. A flimsy, single-layer green cotton cloth clings sloppily to his face. He uses his bare hands to adjust it several times and, in the process, inadvertently touches his face.

There are no gloves or any other kind of protective gear available. The green, reusable surgical mask is all that he and 34 other doctors of two municipal corporation hospitals – Rukminibai and Shastri Nagar – have been given by the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to “combat” the expanding coronavirus pandemic in the country.

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Coronavirus: The woman behind India's first testing kit

India has been criticised for its poor record of testing people in the battle against coronavirus. That, however, is set to change, thanks in large part to the efforts of one virologist, who delivered on a working test kit, just hours before delivering her baby .

Not all SMEs will survive the Covid-19, but what should an economic bailout package look like?
 

Indias's latest figures, according to the Union Health Ministry, have already moved up the scale and crossed the 600 case mark.

The question then that does spring up is that why has India not announced an economic package yet? While businesses across sectors are finding it a challenge to stay up and running, it has been a particularly distressing time for several small business and SMEs who gloomily stare at an uncertain futur.

We'll die like cattle': Kashmiris fear coronavirus outbreak

Doctors say Kashmir, which has been under a security lockdown since August is 'ill- equiped' to deal with the pandemic. Hospitals in the disputed Himalayan region have an acute shortage of doctors and paramedics, while its healthcare facilities are insuffient to meet the crisis which has unsettled countries with world-class medical infrastructure.

‘Beaten, abused, spat on’: People from Northeast endure racist slurs amid coronavirus panic

As the coronavirus pandemic induces panic across India, people from the northeast have become targets for racial discrimination annd slurs, with several such incidents coming to light.

India's transgender community struggles as coronavirus shuts life down

India's coronaviru lockdown leaves transgender people at a heightened risk of poverty and ill health because they exist on the margins of society, eking out a living through sex work and begging, activists and community members said on tuesday.

What India needs to fight the virus

The country has three or four weeks to create an enormous, affordable and easily available testing infrastructure, contain local outbreaks and prepare for the avalanche of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus lockdown: 30 steps government should take to ease the suffering of the poorest Indians

The spread of the coronavirus and the unplanned lockdowns have created economic havoc in the lives of the millions who are part of the informal sector – not just daily wagers, but also workers of the gig economy. According to the Employment-Unemployment Survey, 2015-’16, over 80% of India’s workforce is employed in the informal sector. One-third are casual laborers.

Food and agriculture during a pandemic: Managing the consequences

A critical fallout of the lockdown following the novel coronavirus pandemic has been a combination of confusion, uncertainty, and anxiety for farmers and consumers alike as to what lies in store in the coming weeks. In this post, Sudha Narayanan provides a sense of current bottlenecks in the supply chains of food and agricultural produce, and makes recommendations for government action to get these back on track quickly.

Expert Gyan: Why Centre's Lockdown Relief Package for the Poor Is Not Enough

While a decent first step, it is unclear if it will provide the immediate relief needed. It also does little for the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who have been hit the hardest.