Understanding COVID-19 as a ‘Disaster’: A Sociological Perspective

Disasters are defined as severe disruptions in the routine functioning of society due to adverse events which cause serious harm to lives and livelihoods, economy, environment, and social and cultural resources. Based on this definition, the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 qualifies as a ‘disaster.’ Though COVID 19 has not caused damage to property or infrastructure, it has claimed many lives and created a serious disruption in the functioning of the society, thereby affecting almost everyone across the world.

MANOMITA DAS

States’ Responses to Covid-19 Pandemic in India: The Odisha Model

Just within a few weeks since the Covid-19 virus started spreading from Wuhan, China, in December 2019,  it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), consequently affecting lives in 204 countries in varying degrees – some low, others moderate while about a dozen countries seriously affected. Within a span of two weeks, the total positive cases globally have seen 350 per cent increase to touch 2.3 million with death counts crossing 1,50,000 as of April 15, 2020.

DEBA R MOHANTY & NITYA D MISHRA

Pakistan and COVID-19 Pandemic: Is the Army Taking Advantage?

Ever since the first Corona infected case was reported on February 23 in Sindh province of Pakistan and its spread to the other regions - Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), the authorities asked for army’s help to contain the spread of the virus. Instead of getting the virus directly from China, Pakistan got the infection when thousands of Pakistani pilgrims and businessmen returned from Iranian cities -- Mashhad and Qom, where the shrine of Imam Reza is located.

NIHAR R NAYAK

Challenging the Beliefs: How Covid-19 Crisis Brings Out Frivolous Self

A few days back in a startling incident, some unknown persons placed an advertisement on a global online marketplace for the sale of the Statue of Unity located at Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat. He/she quoted the price of the ‘monument’ at Rs 30,000 crore and claimed that the money would be used to meet the requirement of hospitals and buy healthcare equipment to handle the Covid-19 crisis. Obviously, this is an act of stupidity and needs to be condemned. An FIR has already been lodged for cheating and forgery case; it is illegal to put on sale a public property.

AJEY LELE

How Coronavirus Pandemic Disrupted the Behemoth Cruise Ship Industry

The Cruise Ship Industry around the world has been significantly affected by the spread of Coronavirus or infamous now as Covid – 19. Luxury cruise ships are more vulnerable to infectious diseases, as it brings diverse populations into close proximity, for an extended period of the sea voyage. There is a risk of spreading the disease beyond voyages also, for which aggressive efforts and safety measures are required to be implemented to contain the spread.

ANIMA BISWAL

The Pandemic: Stigma Challenge for ‘Corona’ Management in India

In the midst of a national lockdown and steady rise in a number of cases diagnosed with Coronavirus infection, Central and State governments have issued a number of guidelines and advisories to better manage the ongoing COVID-19 induced disaster. A key challenge confronting society is how to deal with the increasing social stigma being attached to the disease. A number of cases are emerging from across the country, reporting social ostracization. Such instances are expected to rise further as the infection spreads from various cities to the rural country-side.

BISWANATH DASH

Supercomputing Power Towards Resolving COVID-19 Crisis

The world is at present witnessing one of the most difficult periods in its modern history. It is facing COVID-19 pandemic that has no medical solution in sight yet. Thousands of people are dying and many more are expected to succumb to the coronavirus in days and months to come. Obviously, all efforts are ongoing to save the world from any eventual catastrophe. Apart from undertaking passive measures like social distancing, which helps to break the chain of human transmission of the virus, scientists are trying their best to find an appropriate medicine/vaccine to fight COVID-19.

AJEY LELE

Biosafety, Biosecurity and Code of Ethics

The dual use research in life sciences has raised serious concerns for bio-safety and bio-security today as there exists possibilities of misuse of knowledge, information, products and technologies to promote bio-terrorism or bio-warfare activities. Misuse may pose consequential threat to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, material or national security. India has strict and robust regulations on bio-safety and bio-security policies that provide adequate safeguards for responsible conduct and oversight of life sciences research. However, safety measures are far from satisfactory and the implementation agencies are weak. There is an acute shortage of technically-trained manpower and machinery to strictly enforce the regulatory system.

B.M. Gandhi
January 2015

Plague Outbreaks in India: Surat and Himachal Pradesh

Within a gap of eight years, the plague has struck twice in India. The outbreaks caused panic and necessitated an urgent assessment of our public health apparatus vis-a-vis our vulnerability towards infectious diseases. Generally speaking, the resurgence of epidemics and their effects on society demonstrated at least three vital national security issues. They are human mobility (cross-border and intra- border movements), transparency, and tensions between states, (which includes the threat of biological warfare).

ANIMESH ROUL
December 2003