NEW DELHI: An India narrative that needed to be told. Check out ‘Braving A Viral Storm: India’s Covid-19 Story’ by Aashish Chandorkar and Suraj Sudhir. It documents India’s approach to the challenge posed by the Covid pandemic, how government responded, how specialists came together, how private industry rose to the fight and a lot else.
The authors, Chandorkar is a lateral entry at India’s Permanent Mission to the WTO, while Sudhir is a US-based techie, have marshalled facts, interviews and pored through reams of data to present a compelling story.
India’s approach, they point out, was never to imitate what the West was doing and the lockdown was driven by the realisation that the country’s medical infrastructure needed time to gird up for the challenge. As the authors point out, so many years after independence even district headquarters lack health and medical services of a certain standard.
The authors argue that the tech solutions India came up with, such as COWIN, can be replicated in the case of other diseases.
A word on the final death toll, which may never be known given the fact that state governments control medical services and the centre is dependent on what they put out. Perhaps the next census will provide enough data to come up with an accurate casualty figure.
‘Braving A Viral Storm’ is a must read.