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India’s medical students can be trained to vaccinate half the population against COVID-19 by Dec 2021

India’s medical students can be trained to vaccinate half the population against COVID-19 by Dec 2021 By Manjeera Gowravaram, Madhura Lohia and Sameer Wagle Given that a  COVID-19 vaccine is expected to become available in limited quantities from April 2021, India must have a strategy in mind to vaccinate the...

Serosurveys point to inadequacies in India’s COVID-19 testing strategy

Over the past few months, a series of serosurveys for detecting the spread of COVID-19 have been carried out in India. The surveys are meant to identify the percentage of the Indian population with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, as an indicator of how widespread COVID-19 is in the population. The Indian Council of Medical Research...

Capacity is not what’s hindering India’s testing rate, government price caps are

India cannot control the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic unless the governmental authorities stay in mission mode and get better at the ‘test, trace and isolate’ strategy, as I wrote in my column a couple of weeks ago. The first and most important part of the epidemic control strategy is testing, for only when you test...

ICMR should fast track coronavirus vaccine, not for 15 August but for science

There is absolutely no doubt that the world needs a vaccine for the novel coronavirus or SARS-nCOV-2 fast and the country that acquires one first will not only secure health and economic benefits, but gain a geopolitical window of opportunity that it can exploit. For strategic reasons, therefore, I have previously...

Price controls are a terrible idea to tackle private-public healthcare gap in India

Even before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, sticker shock with respect to private hospital charges was commonplace in India. The perception and fear of being overcharged by private hospitals, especially through ‘unnecessary’ diagnostic tests and treatments, is widespread. Adverse health outcomes are frequently attributed to negligence or malpractice, and...

How will maternal and child health be affected by COVID-19?

In times of COVID-19, other health issues have been put on a back-burner. The lockdown has affected many essential health services, maternal and child health (MCH) services being one of them. Neglect of MCH services can lead to the possible rise in morbidity and mortality among mothers and children. This...

To meet world average, India must add at least 10 lakh doctors to healthcare force

India has long been short of doctors, nurses and hospital beds. And a recent working paper by Shruti Rajagopalan and Abishek Choutagunta of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center reminds us of that. Compared to the world average of 150 doctors per 100,000 people, India has only 86 doctors registered for...

To open or not to open India up: a dilemma that need not be one

As India decides what next after the 21-day national lockdown ends on 14 April, opinions are divided among those who want a phased lifting and those who want to extend it. This reflects underlying differences between those who believe it is worth taking calculated risks to forestall widespread suffering on...

India, Disease, and Global History

The way that India reacts to any macrohistorical trend often determines the course of global history. And yet, as Covid-19 looms over 1.3 billion people, there seems to be little concern about the bungling and misinformation that have surrounded India’s response to the disease. I wrote on Medium about issues...

Is the government doing enough to fight Corona on health & economic fronts?

The events of the past few weeks have served as a grave reminder of the challenges of living in a globalised world. The benefits of globalisation and its impact on human progress can never be understated. However, every once in a while, through global financial crises or through pandemics such...
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