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Showing posts from April, 2020

Unfairness of medical response and Covid19: View from Italy

authored by Prof. Benedetto Terracini

Unfairness of the medical response to the corona virus occurs also in my country, but not as much as in the US, thanks to a National Health Service, which guarantees  universal access to medical care.

In Italy, social and economic consequences will be devastating.

Vittorio Foa, an Italian anti-fascist who spent 10 or more years in jail in the 30s,  used to say that misfortunes during the dictatorship turned out to be  opportunities for the subsequent reconstruction.

 Let's hope this will happen also on this occasion.
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Prof. Benedetto Terracini has worked for over 50 years as a physician, epidemiologist and a leader in environmental and occupational health. He worked as a Professor of Biostatistics at University of Torino, Italy. He is recognized as a pioneer of modern occupational and environmental epidemiology. He has been on Board of Italian Ministry of Health, the European Medical Research Council, WHO and European Union. He has served …

Imact of lockdown on migrant workers: View from Delhi

authored by Khushboo Singh

Manoj, a migrant labourer from Bihar was waiting for food standing in long queue outside Delhi's Badli government school like many others said: “ई रिक्शा चलाता हूँ, घर में कमाने वाला अकेला हूँ,कुछ रुपया नहीं बचा पाता| आज अफ़सोस हो रहा है कि अगर कुछ और काम ही कर लेता तो थोड़ा पैसा ही बचा लेता जो इस वक़्त में काम आता| अभी तो बस जो यहाँ से मिल जाए वो ले जाता हूँ और घर में पहले का थोड़ा राशन है | उसको बना लेते हैं , क्या करें| 9 लोगों का परिवार है और राशन खरीदने के लिए पैसे नहीं हैं तो बस ऐसे ही काम चला रहे हैं|” COVID-19, new disease of the coronavirus family has engulfed the entire world. This pandemic has brought almost the whole world to a standstill but it has brought many different challenges for those who were already on the margins. As the lockdown was announced on 24th March, lakhs of migrant labourers started moving towards their native villages by foot across the country. They were to cover a distance of 200 - 1000 kms or more. With no buses and/or tr…

AarogyaSetu paves way for social policy driven by untested, opaque applications

authored by Gopal Krishna

On 2 April, 2020, Government of India launched a mobile app developed in public-private partnership (PPP) to bring the people of India together in a resolute fight against COVID-19. Amidst national security concerns, so far some 5 crore people have downloaded it. In the absence of the promised personal privacy andv data protection law, such apps do not inspire confidence. 
According to the government, this App, called ‘AarogyaSetu’ enables people to assess themselves the risk for their catching the Corona Virus infection. It calculates this based on their interaction with others, using cutting edge Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Unless there is transparency about this PPP app., its background ans its beneficial owners and unless Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology examines the national security and privacy consequences of this app and approved its use, there appears to be compelling logic against it's…

Covid19 disaster: View from Philadelphia, USA

authored by Prof. Arthur L. Frank, Philadelphia, USA

In the Philadelphia area of the USA we have one of the hot spots for the Covid-19 in our country. We see here too the unfairness of the response to the virus. 

Our minority populations get sick and die at a higher rate, given issues such as poverty, which means more underlying disease, and that poorer people have essential jobs ie transport, food stores etc, and must work. 

There is unfairness all over the world, but even so in our rich country, and we see how precarious life is here too with thousands lining up for food distribution. 

May all this pass quickly, but I fear a longer than shorter time will be involved. 

The current Covid-19 pandemic, as implied by the use of the word pandemic , has affected the whole world, Some countries have been more straightforward in recognizing the seriousness of this issue and more rather than less accurately reporting on the disease around the world.  

Some countries have done especially well in pro…

Covid-19 disaster: View from Hyderabad, Telangana

authored by Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy, Hyderabad, Telangana 

During discussion on TV Channels on three different occasions from the start of Covid-19 case in Telangana state. China: The virus spread to Wuhan City only and reported around 3000 deaths and later the deaths are few.  China did not caution the world on the pros and cons to contain it.  People started giving false theories – virus from bats; a virus contacted lady visiting market, etc.  Bats are not new to the world or to China. Also, they are located 300 km away from the town. Reports state that the scientists collected the virus from bats long back.  In fact I mentioned in my first TV debate that the virus entered the atmosphere while doing research. Such things happened in the past in the case of some viruses. China denied and some Chinese researchers do agree on this. WHO is in support of China and with this US stopped funding to WHO/UN similar to climate change. Now, reports are clear on this based on the past research rep…

Environmental Journalism and Advocacy

If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.
- Joseph Wood Krutch, American Naturalist

Our ecological world is under assault from global warming, toxic chemicals and threats to water resources, wildlife and biodiversity. This plight of earths ecosystem is intrinsically linked to global development policys assumption that economic growth and development are synonymous. Consistent environmental communication has underlined how environmental conservation is co-terminus with human security more than with national security. The former is concerned with reducing  and when possible  removing the insecurities that plague human lives and abrupt penury related to economic downturns.

Environment advocates pose stark questions and prophesy almost in an alarmist tone that people who remain silent and passive are exposed to toxic emissions and gases. If this is not true then, how do…

"NPR and NRC =CIDR and UID/Aadhaar= Electoral database"

“I have a file on you.” - MK Narayanan’s routine threat to his adversaries as National Security Adviser (NSA) quoted in Sanjay Baru's book 'The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh'
 “One way to ensure that the unique identification (UID) number is used by all government and private agencies is by inserting it into the birth certificate of the infant. Since the birth certificate is the original identity document, it is likely that this number will then persist as the key identifier through the individual’s various life events, such as joining the school, immunizations, voting, etc.” - A confidential document of UIDAI titled ‘Creating a unique identity number for every resident in India’, leaked by Wikileaks on 13 Nov 2009 As per majority order of the Supreme Court’s 5-Judge Constitution Bench’s order of September 26, 2018 in Justice K S Puttaswamy v Union of India in the Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number project and National Populat…