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Public health responses

Get Ready for the Global Fight Over Vaccines - Stuart Blume

The article asks an important question - ‘Vaccines are an essential tool of public health. But have we been led to expect too much of them? Have we invested too much of our hopes and our resources in them at the expense of other public health measures?’ It attempts to predict the possible geo-political battle over vaccines and how it will affect developing countries. Click here.

Maharashtra: COVID-19 Goes Viral in Cities, Shadow Looms Over the Countryside (I) - Abhay Shukla, Maharashtra Public Health Analysis Group

The article discusses the specific case Maharashtra which has the highest cases of Covid19. It compares various aspects like fatality rate, positive cases and deaths of other states to understand what are the possible reasons for the difference in transmission of the virus. Click here.

What Maharashtra Can Do to Tackle COVID-19 While Easing the Lockdown (II) - Abhay Shukla, Maharashtra Public Health Analysis Group

Based on analysis of development of the COVID-19 epidemic in Maharashtra, the Public Health Analysis Group has proposed a set of strategies to upgrade control measures in the state like categorization of areas, scaling up preparedness of public hospitals and strategy for lockdown reversal. Click here.

Aarogya Setu App Is Just the Latest Example of Our Obsession With Quick-Fixes - Kiran Kumbhar

The article discusses public health policy making and its bent towards techno-centric and quick fix ideas to address public health emergencies and epidemics. It draws examples from research and policy discussions during 1960-70s TB control to show a pattern of such selective and narrow policy making ideas that ignore larger socio-economic and political conditions of the poor. Click here.

Mental Health In The Wake Of Covid-19: Initiatives & Advisory- Ipsita Sapra and Meenal Rawat

This document is the first volume of the fourth in the series and covers the mental health dimensions of the situation. Keeping in mind the diversified needs of the heterogeneous nature of the Indian society, this series includes a set of advisory specific to the identified vulnerable groups. The document also compiles the existing initiatives in India. A set resources are also presented for easy references. Click here.

International Policy Response- Tanniya Sankhyan and Sarayu Nandakumar

This report considers the trajectory of confirmed COVID-19 cases, how it has developed from Jan 17th to April 14th and specifies the measures taken by the countries that were frontrunners in taking early action. Further, it documents the policy response on various sectors of the economy across countries as well as records the response of some of the prominent international organisations such as the World Health Organisation, Asian Development Bank, United Nations and International Monetary Fund. While some countries have managed to defend themselves better with the resulting outcomes of certain policy measures to be somewhat favourable in the short run, every single policy decision taken is considered to be as valuable, for they offer great insights and learning. Click here.

Navigating To Normal A Responsive Lockdown Exit Strategy- T. M. Pranathi and Shruti Prasad

In this document, an attempt has been made to provide a more dynamic and comprehensive lockdown exit strategy. The policy document lays out a staggered approach, taking into consideration the key concepts of a) uncertain outcomes attributed to early relaxation, b) infection trajectory and institutional preparedness, c) responsive and flexible phasing. Click here.

Coronavirus outbreak presents chance for India to strengthen public healthcare system, train grassroots health workers to detect epidemics Mathew George

The article highlights key issues like laboratory capacities and human resource capacities in the Indian Public health system and how they have a bearing on the government’s capability to curb the Covid 19 crisis. The approach needed would be a multidimensional which requires the state to focus on strengthening the public health care system and regularly recruit and train grassroot workers to deal with epidemics Click here.

Coronavirus Lockdown III: Is India's public healthcare system prepared to fight the COVID-19 menace - Prashant Mohanty

The article contextualizes the Covid 19 crisis within the existing structural problems of the Indian Public Health System. It highlights critical flaws in the system like access to quality care, high out of pocket expenditure and the Public-Private- Partnership models that further worsen health conditions and can amplify effects in such times. Click here.

How Prepared Is India to Control the COVID-19 Pandemic? - T Jacob John

The article is a commentary on the preparedness of India to tackle the Corona virus. The SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19, has reached many places in India, from Kerala to Kashmir. With local spread occurring from infection seeded by importations, a nationwide epidemic of unprecedented seriousness is imminent. By looking into the past experiences of tacking epidemics it speaks about learnings, public health system issues and what kind of preparedness we need today in this situation from war-room strategies at ministry level to solution driven research. It also highlights the importance of Universal health coverage. Click here.

Scientific and ethical basis for social-distancing interventions against COVID-19 - Joseph A Lewnard and Nathan C Lo

The article highlights various merits and demerits of the social distancing and lockdown strategies adopted by China and followed by other countries to control the pandemic. It puts forth scientific evidence of its effectiveness as well as draws our attention to the scale of social disruption and impact it has had on the lives of people. It public health authorities and policy makers to weigh the impact of such public health action on vulnerable populations Click here.

Stimulating an Epidemic- A video by 3Blue1Brown

The video uses SIR (Susceptible, Infected & Recovered/Removed) models to elaborate upon the spread of COVID-19. It progresses to draw out how an epidemic spreads and if social distancing is effective to curb the spread and to what extent. Then the video assesses the spread of an infection if social distancing was accompanied by other measures, like better hygiene and usage of protective gears like masks and gloves. The simulations aim to elucidate that any spread of an infection is well within human limits to control and possibly eradicate as either the population reaches a stage of immunity or has preventative checks in place within the healthcare setup to avoid a rise to a level of an epidemic. Click here.

How To Tell If We are Beating COVID-19- A video by minutephysics

This video talks about the exponential growth in the number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the past several weeks and asks an important question. Are we doing enough against the virus? While statistics point towards a rising number of cases being recorded everyday, the exponential growth cannot continue forever. Natural laws dictate that the spread of the virus will eventually start to slow down. The short video focuses on whether we are on the right path to curb the spread in all the ways we can. It also focuses on the authenticity of the source from where data is extracted. Most importantly, it reiterates that the projections or the data available today should be considered carefully as the testing of patients has still not reached the point it should have. Click here.

Apna Swasthya Apne Haath (3 part series) - Tata Institute of Social Sciences

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences has launched #TISSCOVID19Response recently after the COVID-19 outbreak. As a part of the movement, the institute has come up with a three part series in Hindi on Youtube that focuses on the basics of transmission and protective measures that any person can take to avoid contracting the virus. Two parts of the video have been released up till now. Youtube Link.
Youtube Link.