Introduction to the COVID – 19: Learning Diary from India - ACCESS Health International

Introduction to the COVID – 19: Learning Diary from India

Introduction to the COVID – 19: Learning Diary from India

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In December 2019, an acute respiratory viral infection was first identified in Wuhan city in China. Ever since then the disease has infected over 4.9 million people, killed over 320,000, and brought life to a standstill in several countries.[1]

It has forced political systems all around the world to revisit their healthcare provision systems, supply chains, wages, workforce laws, economies, and business dynamics. The situation of crisis is coupled with little knowledge of the behavior of the disease and of whether the world should expect any relapses.

Nations have responded differently to the crisis. We intend to discuss the response of India, one of the neighboring countries of China, to the pandemic. The country is marred by urban sprawl, battling several communicable diseases, and has a growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The workforce is predominantly informal, making it difficult to ensure the economic well-being of the people in case of a state induced lockdown. Yet, the country has emerged relatively effective in containing the disease with fewer numbers of cases and deaths, despite the challenges.

Various media reports and articles have purported numerous reasons for this trend. Some have reported that the weather in India may not be conducive to the spread of the virus. It was also discussed that Indians may be partially immune to COVID-19 due to BCG Vaccine. Indians have some genetic advantage as well, as they have evolved to gain more genes that protect against viral infections. However, none of these theories have been proven plausible. Another theory has been that political will, early tracing, and creation of a strong contagion road map may have been the cause of this low rate.

We intend to create a COVID 19 learning diary for India. This piece of work will enable us to trace the elements of legislative, judicial, and social response to the epidemic at a country level and will help to chalk out course correction for the future. We also discuss the challenges faced by the government of India and its member states.

In the coming posts, we will be discussing the potential future measures which the country can take to emerge successfully from the catastrophic situation. From the crisis rises an opportunity to develop a resilient health system for the future.

[1] As of 19th May 2020