ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Skewed Urbanisation and the Contagion

Alongside the dearth of healthcare infrastructure, unplanned and market-driven urbanisation further challenges the containment of the outbreak of infections like Covid-19, in India. In this context, the prospects of an inclusive urban land use plan are also focused on.

Human societies have witnessed a significant decrease in mortality from infectious diseases over the past century. During 1918–20, the Spanish flu pandemic infected more than a quarter of the world population and resulted in 50 million deaths mostly in the urban areas around the world. Since then, the most severe globalised viral infection is the COVID-19, spreading to over 202 countries and affecting more than a million of the world population till date. According to a recent estimate of the World Health Organization (WHO), an infectious disease can kill an average of 50,000 people daily, worldwide.

Global evidences suggest that with more opportunities for contact and exposure, urban areas are more susceptible to the infection. Presently, more than half of the global population live in urban areas (Neiderud 2015). While this proportion was less than 20% a hundred years ago, it is expected to exceed 60% by 2030 (Neiderud 2015). In this setting, this article attempts to find out the correlation between the spread of infectious disease and the process of skewed urbanisation in the Indian context, particularly given the recent experiences of the accelerated spread of dengue and chikungunya, both being well adapted to the urbanised areas.

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Updated On : 20th Apr, 2020

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