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

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

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

Pakistan: Between Devil and Disease

In late November 2013, doctors working for the Kurdish Red Crescent in Syria traced a deadly strain of polio virus to Pakistan. The vectors of the virus are unknown, but the needle of suspicion is on the Jihadi elements who have travelled all the way to Syria from the tribal badlands of Pakistan where a government polio eradication campaign has been marred by Taliban zealots for the past many years.

 

South Asia Conflict Monitor, December 2013

Responses to Disease Outbreak: A Perspective from India

The threat of emerging infectious diseases is a product of the globalisation process. Changing lifestyles, patterns of behaviour and several such complex factors have led to the emergence and spread of disease in India. Outbreak of diseases like SARS, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, chickungunya, malaria and bird flu, etc., in recent times, have critically influenced human lives in India. Added to this, is the spectre of biological terrorism. This can potentially make a state vulnerable to threats.

Monalisa Joshi

Mosquito Menace in India: Chinks in Health Care Establishment

Consider this: The reputation of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, regarded a premier institute for thousands of medical and health care professionals, students and researchers, has been tarnished by a deadly dengue outbreak. How ironic it may sound, the sprawling premise, cramped with quarters and not far from an active but stagnant drain, actually serves as a haven for mosquitoes and other disease carrying vectors.

BISWAJAYEE A. PATRA