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

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National Lockdown and COVID-19 Containment in India

What impact the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown has had on the spread of the virus in Class 1 cities of India is discussed using an interrupted time series model. Four variants of the susceptible–infected–recovered models are used to develop a counterfactual, which are compared with actual data. The analysis reveals that the lockdown has reduced the number of COVID-19 cases by 23.65 million–33.77 million and averted approximately 0.001 million–0.010 million deaths. At the regional level, it has prevented a major health crisis as existing intensive care unit and ventilator facilities for critically ill patients would have been inadequate.

COVID-19 Lockdown and Human Development

Maharashtra has emerged as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the trade-off between lockdowns to flatten the infection curve and saving an already slow economy, there is a significant human cost, thus exposing and deepening the existing structural inequalities. The article maps and analyses the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown based on the three dimensions of human development—health and nutrition, education, and livelihood. Given the acute shortage of food supplies for certain groups during the period, the article examines the government response by analysing the implementation of food programmes.

Of Denial and Data

A national lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. This saw a humanitarian crisis unfold, that included deaths directly caused by the lockdown. The Indian government has been in denial about these deaths. In this article, we attempt to gather data on the human costs of the lockdown. Using media reports, we collected data on these deaths that highlights the devasting consequences of a harsh and sudden lockdown on the vulnerable sections, and underscores the need for strong social security efforts.

War in Yemen

Civil war in Yemen cannot be seen merely from the prism of sectarian conflict as its roots go into the historical political positions of different groups and geostrategic interests of regional powers. Hegemonic designs of Saudi Arabia backed by the United States have intensified the conflict, leading to thousands of deaths and acute humanitarian crisis. It remains to be seen how far the recently concluded Stockholm Agreement between warring camps would contribute to a durable peace.

Responsibility to Protect

The doctrine of "Responsibility to Protect" was adopted by the international community at the United Nations in 2009 to prevent genocides, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Diffi cult as it is to implement, the manner of application of the doctrine in Libya has raised concerns. The suggestions from Brazil for a more circumspect application of this principle, subjecting it to more calibrations, must be welcomed by the UN Security Council.

Brutal Wars and a Malevolent Peace

The cost of a botched peace in Iraq would be even higher than the price of a bloody war. The world community has to decide how best it can hold the US accountable for its crimes in Iraq. The alternative - acquiescence in the hit and run strategy that the US has raised to a fine art in the last few decades - would be an unaffordable luxury in the current state of international relations.

India and the International Red Cross

Though India has not ratified the protocols relating to humanitarian law applicable to armed conflicts, in a recent judgment, the Supreme Court held that the courts are under an obligation to give due regard to international conventions and norms for construing domestic laws.
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