There Indian COVID. Reporting for this story was supported by a journalism grant from the Thakur Family Foundation,

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[ ‘There are so many hurdles.’ Indian scientists plead with government to unlock COVID-19 data ]

Reporting for this story was supported by a journalism grant from the Thakur Family Foundation, which has not influenced the contents of this report.

Indian researchers say they urgently need better access to data collected by government agencies to help them understand and fight the country’s devastating second pandemic wave. An open letter published on 29 April that has 740 signatories so far asks the government for access to databases on COVID-19 testing and genomic sequencing and urges it to remove other obstacles to research.

Publisher: Science | AAAS
Date: 2021-05-04T12:10:00-04:00
Author: Priyanka Pulla
Twitter: @newsfromscience
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Quite a lot has been going on:

Growth Hurdles: Tackling India’s core structural vulnerability

The last two years have been deeply troubled for the Indian economy. The economic shock from Covid-19 lockdown was a big reason. Stories of hardships faced by millions of people who were rendered jobless when large number of MSMEs were forced to close operation dominated the front pages of news publications. And, then, before the industry could fully recover, the farmers’ agitation against the new farm Acts 2020 brought by the Union government to reform agricultural marketing brought in new uncertainty to the agricultural sector.

These two disconnected crises- one caused by a natural disaster and other a man-made one-highlight a fundamental structural vulnerability at the core of the Indian economy, which is that the vast majority of economic ‘units’ in both industrial and agricultural sectors are sub-scale, have low productivity, and, in a good year, create just enough surplus to sustain for another year. Any crisis, natural or man-made, can bring them to their knees, and thus creates an ever-present fear-factor for the people engaged in them.

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India’s COVID-19 Crisis Is Spiraling Out of Control. It Didn’t Have to Be This Way

For all those vulnerabilities, experts say the current crisis could have been avoided if the government had acted earlier. ‘It is the virus, but it’s way more than the virus,’ says Sumit Chanda, an infectious-disease expert at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California. ‘It’s equal parts complacency and incompetence.’ Many Indians who took strict precautions last year abandoned their masks and gathered indoors when the broader public messaging implied that India had conquered the virus. They were ‘pristine prey,’ as Mukherjee puts it, when the virus resurged this spring.

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Predicting the next pandemic ‘harder than we think’, scientists warn

While many are keen to return to the lives we once knew, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the coronavirus pandemic is “not necessarily the big one”.

In the UK, the Labour party is therefore calling on the government to hold annual planning exercises to prepare for an “era of pandemics”.

Perhaps reassuringly, the Sydney scientists have stressed pandemics could be prevented if humans and animals were screened at the sites where they interact most.

The circulating coronavirus is thought to have jumped from bats into humans, possibly via an intermediate species, like pangolins.

Twitter: @YahooIndia
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US reaches 100 million with vaccines as Europe faces fresh hurdles

‘We must err on the side of caution, which is why it is wise to press the pause button now as a precaution,’ Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.

Only 10 percent of Europe’s total population has received one vaccine dose, and four percent have received two, according to the World Health Organization.

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Also complicating vaccination efforts is that India, often dubbed the ‘pharmacy of the world,’ has slowed down exports as it battles a major surge.

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China ‘ where the pulmonary disease first emerged in 2019 in circumstances that remain a topic of intense speculation ‘ as well as Russia have stepped up exports of their own vaccines.

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Greetings Earthlings: There is no spoon or AI. The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. Alert, alert. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.