India coronavirus dispatch: How state police are battling Covid-19



Here is a round-up of important articles related to coronavirus from across Indian publications. From the commitment to the Directive Principles of State Policy, to a post-pandemic world order, and how state police are battling Covid-19 — read these and more in today’s India dispatch.

Expert Speak

Were labour exemptions necessary, and will they be useful? Experts differ: At least 10 states, including the industrialised Gujarat and Haryana, have relaxed labour laws. While this has caused consternation among trade unions, the question is, how does this work? How will it impact employers and employees? Are these moves anti-labour? And will industry come in and invest because of this? Read this interview with K R Shyam Sunder, professor of human resources at the business school XLRI, Jamshedpur, and Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice-president at TeamLease, India’s largest staffing services company.


A post-pandemic world order: As the world starts recovering from the debilitating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, nations will draw on all their reserves to ensure that their place in the global pecking order is largely maintained. Among many factors, dogma, ideology and notions of power merit serious attention as non-quantifiable national characteristics that could either impede or accelerate the recovery process. Read more here.

Uncaring States: The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), though unenforceable, are constitutionally mandated goals for the state to work towards when making laws. It is tempting to see the pandemic as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to push through labour reforms. Even so, it is unclear that the wholescale abrogation of the labour law system benefits either labour or industry. Read here to understand why this is an apt moment for the governments, at both the Centre and in the states, to renew their commitment to the DPSP.

Managing Covid-19

How state police are battling Covid-19, what they have learnt: In Maharashtra, the state most affected by Covid-19, 1,273 police personnel from the 200,000-strong force have tested positive so far; 11 of them have died, and 291 have recovered. Police have been deployed in a number of duties relating to the outbreak and lockdown, including in high-risk areas.

One way is a policeman catching the infection during deployment, a second way is police personnel getting infected from a colleague, especially when he or she is asymptomatic. Read more here.

One in four Delhi returnees tests positive for coronavirus in Bihar. What does this mean? Every one in four returning migrant workers from Delhi tested in Bihar for the novel coronavirus has been found positive, according to data released by the Bihar government. The state has tested 835 Delhi returnees, of which 218 or 26 per cent have the infection. Does the higher positivity rate among migrants returning from Delhi indicate a greater spread of coronavirus in the national capital than currently estimated? Read more here.

Vande Bharat mission — Passengers complain of exorbitant ticket prices: Many Indians who are stuck in foreign countries and want to return to India through special repatriation flights operated by the government of India have complained that they are being charged exorbitant amounts for the tickets. Read more here.

Long Reads

Territoriality amid Covid-19 — A primer to the Lipulekh conflict between India and Nepal: Most national security experts around the subcontinent are hearing about Lipulekh for the first time, even though this has been a long-standing issue between Kathmandu and New Delhi. Nepal and India share an open border that is distinctive in South Asia. Nepal provides employment to hundreds of thousands of Indian labour migrants and is the seventh-largest remittance source to India’s economy. But now, “shared prosperity”, the term that finds place in repeated bilateral declarations, stands threatened. Read more here.

Covid-19 in South Asia — India lags behind Pakistan on stimulus, Lanka on overall performance: In each of the four large South Asian nations, the response of the state to the pandemic has been shaped by long-standing and underlying political fault lines. This piece analyses the government economic policies and politics that are shaping the response to the pandemic in four South Asian countries.

Understanding Covid-19

How Covid-19 affects different parts of the body: While fever, cough and difficulty in breathing are some of the most common symptoms of Covid-19, the disease has been known to affect different parts of the body. There have been reports that the disease may overstimulate the immune system and lead to a cytokine storm, and in some other patients, doctors noticed a swelling on their patients’ toes. Read more here.

ICMR revises testing guidelines; asymptomatic, high-risk to be tested between 5 and 10 days: Revising its strategy for Covid-19 testing, ICMR on Monday said that returnees and migrants who showed symptoms for influenza-like illness would be tested for coronavirus infection within seven days of ailment and stressed that no emergency clinical procedure, including deliveries, should be delayed for lack of testing. Read more here.


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