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

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The Second Wave of Death and Disaster

India’s overzealousness to launch its vaccine diplomacy programme was preposterous. The crisis manager in the ministry of external affairs may run from pillar to post to procure vaccines but that cannot repair the damage their policies have had on the country. India despite being called the pharmacy of the world has failed to deliver the much-needed doses to its own population. It is time that we paused and introspected as the excessive securitisation of our foreign policy and its obsession with China will only lead to spending more on defence when we actually need to focus on economic and health sectors.

World Trade Organization Is Moving Too Slow for Comfort

Any further delay to waive intellectual property rights and ensure adequate vaccines will prove costly.

The Indian Economy

Deadly and frightening as it appears, it is still too early to estimate the severity of India’s Covid-19 second wave. Unlike the transatlantic countries where it appears to have peaked, India’s second wave is still trending upwards. While the second wave is more devastating, India’s unpreparedness is evident. India needs to recognise that such pandemics will come again. It needs to diversify and secure its supply chains, vaccine output, and upgrade its poor healthcare infrastructure. The Indian economy has been badly hit by the pandemic, with one of the highest output losses amongst major economies. One of the possible reasons for this is the limited fiscal support despite a stringent lockdown, with most of the heavy lifting done through monetary measures. Going forward, its economy needs to overcome several challenges before it can return to its former high growth trajectory.

The Unresolved Issues in Controlling Covid-19

Vaccinating the entire population of the country against COVID-19 is a hard feat to achieve given the weak health infrastructure of the country and various other factors like confusion and vaccine hesitancy. A strict lockdown and safety measures are the only way to deal with the second wave of the deadly disease.

Politics and Economics of Vaccine Policy

India’s COVID -19 vaccine policy betrays a lack of vision and social responsibility.

COVID-19 Vaccines

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and National Disaster Management Act, 2005 grant the Government of India a great deal of autonomy and control in declaring an infectious disease as a pandemic and in suspending citizen’s rights. Three distinct but related legal issues regarding the government’s handling of intellectual property rights under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement of the World Trade Organization, consumer rights, and product liability for the COVID-19 vaccines are discussed, as the raging pandemic has created uncertainties in the implementation of these laws.

Questionable Permission, Ineffective Programme

Anant Phadke writes: On 3 January, Covishield and Covaxin (manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech respectively) received “permission for restricted use in emergency situation subject to certain regulatory conditions.” The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave this...
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