August 2, 2020

Recent official Covid stats may indicate a slightly encouraging trend. Within a month, the number of new cases per day has dropped from 3,536 on June 28 to 1,176 on July 26. The government is claiming that its strategy of smart lockdowns, coupled with implementation of safety measures, has resulted in this encouraging trend. Be that as it may, there is a need for cautious optimism before premature and hasty conclusions are drawn and result in social behaviours that affect compliance with safety measures while the threat remains. There should be a conscious scientific effort to understand the mechanism that appears to have tamed this raging pandemic. If anything, there is a case for vigilance as the country prepares for holidays and animal sacrifice that goes with Eid ul Azha.

This week the Special Report looks at issues that may require greater planning and thought as and when we move towards a time when the worst of the pandemic is over. From rethinking our healthcare strategies to forming policies that address the problems faced by the most vulnerable groups across the country, we explore the thought that everything needs to adjust to the times.

Among the many things that this pandemic has taught us, a need for efficient communication and clear messaging is probably the most important. From sending mixed and confused messages at the start of the pandemic to blaming an uninformed citizenry for their problems, the government has clearly struggled in formulating a clear and effective communication strategy for its own people. This week, we explore that subject.

Above all there needs to be a realisation on all hands that life has changed drastically and is most likely to remain that way in the foreseeable future. There is a need for people to acknowledge the changes and adapt accordingly.