Here is a round-up of articles in Indian news publications on how the country is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. From reframing of relations between workers and employers, to how and airports are trying to make flying safe again, and whether a handheld device can kill the virus with UV light — read these and more in today’s India dispatch.

Expert Speak

How will the pandemic reframe relations between workers and employers in India? To revive the economy in the middle of the pandemic, several state governments issued ordinances to bring in labour reforms. These have come under significant scrutiny and steps have been taken to address the more draconian ones. Listen to this podcast with K R Shyam Sundar, one of India’s leading researchers on labour laws and a professor at the Xavier Institute of Management, Jamshedpur. He discusses the evolution of labour laws in the country, their inherent flaws and failure in protecting the most vulnerable, and what the new reforms could mean for the future of labour-capital relations. Read more here


Scripting a new narrative for Covid control: A Covid-19 committee as a practical platform in every district, with representation from civil administration, health management professionals, industry, businesses, educational institutions, major non-governmental organisations, voluntary organisations like the Rotary and Lions Club can identify facilitators and deterrents of preventive processes and practices and evolve locally relevant solutions for Covid-19 control now. It can evolve into a district development committee in the post-Covid-19 future. Read more here

Managing Covid-19

How and airports are trying to make flying safe again: There is no right-to-left or front-to-back airflow and cabin air is fully filtered and renewed every two to three minutes, according to the Airbus expert. The air inside the aircraft is sucked out through vents on the floor and transported through highly efficient HEPA filters, which trap harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites, and flush out 99.9 per cent of particles, including Read more here

Two months later, work has restarted in Haryana factories – but previous salaries remain unpaid: A survey of 100 migrant workers done in May by Safe in India, a non-profit organisation that focuses on safety concerns of workers, found that most workers were still stranded in Haryana. Three out of every four workers surveyed were yet to receive their salaries for April.

Fifty per cent of these workers accepted the non-payment of salaries as fait accompli. Read more here

As Odisha struggles to deal with rapid Covid-19 spread, migrant workers demand more testing: Containing the infection is turning out to be a Herculean task for the Odisha government, even though it has set up 26 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals with a total of 4,470 beds. To add to this, there are seven dedicated Covid-19 health centres with 926 beds. The government has also readied 15,867 temporary medical centres in 6,798 panchayats where around 700,000 beds have been arranged to serve Covid-19 patients. Quarantine centres for Odias returning to the state from outside have been set up in each panchayat, with the government spending on food and basic care for those housed there. Read more here

Worry in J&K as busy bureaucrat tests positive, many quarantined: The government functioning in J&K has been badly hit after a senior bureaucrat tested positive for Covid-19, forcing a number of top-ranking administrators and senior health officials to go into quarantine. While the government rushed to order a “deep sanitisation” of the civil secretariat, the highest seat of governance, health authorities in Jammu are working overtime to trace the contacts of the infected bureaucrat, Dheeraj Gupta. Read more here

Understanding Covid-19

Can a handheld device kill virus with UV light? Can you kill the novel coronavirus with ultraviolet light? Yes, you can, but the hurdle for such an approach lies in finding a device that would emit sufficient amounts of ultraviolet light while being, at the same time, energy-efficient and portable. Now, researchers have reported that such a device is feasible — personal, handheld, and built from a newly discovered class of conductors. Read more here

Why coronavirus treatments shouldn’t take back seat to vaccines: Unless making and deploying hundreds of millions of inoculations is a lot easier than we expect and the fastest vaccines durably prevent both infection and transmission — a big ask for warp-speed efforts — Covid-19 may be around in diminished form for a while to come. That means treatments will remain valuable even after vaccines arrive. The more tools doctors have, the better. Read more here

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