The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brought untold pain and suffering with it. But, as the nation struggled for oxygen, medicines, beds and even for hope, there emerged ordinary individuals who, with their extraordinary contributions helped people in dire need of help. As part of the Banega Swasth India campaign, NDTV and Dettol India thank these heroes in a special townhall with Amitabh Bachchan - #SalutingTheCovidHeroes.
Here are the highlights of the #SalutingTheCovidHeroes Townhall with Amitabh Bachchan:
'The Coronavirus Is Like Rope-A-Dope,' Prannoy Roy Warns Against Lowering One's Guard
As the townhall comes to an end, Laxman Narasimhan, CEO, Reckitt talks about the learning from the first and second waves and ways to prepare for the third wave
We have learnt a lot over the last 18 months and think about how we can get ready for it and we have broken it down into three parts. And the model that we are using for ourselves also applies to the communities that we are engaged with. This first one is to really prevent and slow things down- that comes through the behaviours for us, communicate the right behaviour so people learn, the other thing it to ensure that the products are available, but also that we partner with a variety of organisations like school, local comunities to ensure that people understand what the behaviours are that are needed in order to slow things down while we get things right with regard to vaccines and the antivirus that are being developed. The schools are the real place of focus for us in terms of how we navigate that.
The second element of this is, even though we may prepare and slow things down, sometimes it is the unexpected variant that could come and you got to have some way to respond and there we've got to move with speed. Now last time, when all these things happened, we sort of used the sheer energy of people, the entrepreneurship of people, but at this point of time we have learnt a lot and learnt to be much more organised about it and we focus on our supply chain to ensure they are quick, and the investments have been made so we can respond quickly.
This pandemic has taken away the activities and the things that form children’s personality and help in growth: Dr Amit Sen, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, and Director and Co-founder of Children First
Unlike other global disaster that we have had like Tsunami and the Gujarat earthquake, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is not a one-time scene, because those disasters often come and create havoc, death and destruction and then leave us to at least pick-up the pieces and rebuild our lives. But this is just ongoing and it never seems to end. Every time we try to raise our heads, it knocks us down. So, indeed the experience of everybody, particularly of children, adolescents, teenagers, has been traumatic deeply, particularly for those who are in the forefront of facing it- whether it is through deaths and devastation in the family, or complete loss of livelihood, and so on. So, it is imperative that we try and look at it from different lenses.
This pandemic is the crisis of the entire civilisation, this is the crisis of childhood, of innocence: Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi on #SalutingTheCovidHeroes townhall
Dr Aditi Hazra, Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School explains the importance of genome sequencing on #SalutingTheCovidHeroes townhall
The kindness and bravery of our Covid heroes is an inspiration to each one of us, NDTV-Dettol salute these warriors for their invincible spirit and the extraordinary work they have done in the past 18 months
COVID-19 Outbreak Underlines The Need To Focus On Environmental Health
The third wave is almost inevitable but to a large degree mitigatable: Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals
This ability to mitigate, not just the numbers but the impact, depends on a series of things - the number of people we have vaccinated; our ability to communicate the whole aspect and the importance of this COVID appropriate behaviour or the fact that the virus loves crowd like Dr Paul was saying. I think also we need to continue to look at the science behind the nature of the virus. Are there more genetic mutations? What are the variants? How do we have to be more careful about it? What do we do about individuals who have been vaccinated but now their immunity is coming down once again? Do you need a booster shot? What type of shot? And as the immunity of those who have been infected already, has that come down? So all these factors are complex but need to be continuously monitored and a combination of this scenario is really what will prepare us for the third wave in addition to of course the most important thing which is medical readiness.
Dr VK Paul, Head, Nutrition, Health and Human Resource Development, NITI Aayog joins the #SalutingTheCovidHeroes townhall
We have learned from the second wave that we cannot lower our guard ever. This virus is very smart, very mischievous. It comes in waves. We still have a long way to go and till the time we are protected hugely with vaccine coverage of a high order, we have to be even more vigilant, even beyond that there is a journey to be covered.
Meet the couple, Dr Marcus Ranney and Dr Raina Ranney, who started ‘Meds For More’ - a citizens led initiative to collect unused and unexpired medicines from recovered Covid patients, which are then donated to primary health care centres in rural districts across India
Everyone who can, should come forward to help and to create awareness in order to fight the virus: Cricketer Jaydev Unadkat on #SalutingTheCovidHeroes townhall
Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Reckitt talks about how Dettol India selected the 100 unsung heroes to appear on the pack
Dr Harmandeep Singh Boparai, a frontline worker from New York returned to India to serve his country during the pandemic and is now training medical staff in COVID protocols
We have been fighting this war, this invisible enemy for more than a year now and it's a global war. Whether the front is New York or back here at home in Amritsar or Mumbai, it's the same fight. And with all that we learned and I learned with my experience fighting in New York, if I weren't able to bring it back home to India, to my people at a time of crisis you know, it wouldn't have been worth it, so it was really a no brainer to come back since things got so bad here during the second wave.
A government school teacher and a part time auto rickshaw driver in Mumbai, Dattatraya Sawant ferried critical medical cases in his auto during the second wave as there was a shortage of ambulances and some could not afford one
Meet Delhi’s ‘Ambulance Couple’ Himashu Kalia and Twinkle Kalia who have been helping the needy and sick to get to the hospital during COVID
What has been very heartening for healthcare workers is the resilience that Indian citizens have shown: Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS
The More We Harm The Environment, The Sicker We Are Going To Get: Laxman Narasimhan
Reckitt is the hygiene partner for COP26 to be held in Glasglow later in the year, where the world will converge to work out an effective way to attack the climate change challenges. Laxman Narasimhan, CEO, Reckitt said that the company will focus on highligting the impact of biodiveristy and health, as one degree rise in temperature increases the lifespan of insects by six times, so at COP26 Reckitt aims to reinenforce the message that we have to take care of the climate because if we don't it is going to make us sicker.
Vaccinations are hugely important: Laxman Narasimhan, CEO, Reckitt
I think that the one thing that's clear is vaccinations are hugely important. It is very important as well to really shore up the medical infrastructure. This is going to take time. In the time when that is happening, as we prepare for the third wave, it's crucial to get ready. Now one of the things that we have realised is that in this sort of intermediate phase, there is a lot of information that is very confusing and it's not just about the vaccines - which is effective, which is not; which antivirals correct or not correct. One of things we did therefore, and this is a real gap in public health is we realised that we need to put some money behind in actually coming up with some of those answers and we set aside about 25 million dollars in partnership with Yale, Harvard, with Cambridge University here at The London School Of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine. Dr Guleria has been very involved with AIIMS in order to do research around how do you ensure we get ready around the science and behaviour and we understand what works and doesn't work so there can actually be you know, it's not an opinion, it's a fact.
The role of brands during these difficult times should be to enhance people’s lives, bring cheer to them while helping them protect themselves: Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Reckitt
Last year, the role of the brand we felt was education and obviously that was the right thing to do with handwashing, wearing a mask and keeping a social distance and that's what the brand tried to do, to educate as many people as possible through various campaigns that we did. I think, this year, when the second wave came and we knew obviously it will end someday, I think the role of the brand was to evolve to become much more than education because obviously people had been educated about the need for handwashing and mask and things like that. I think we took on the role of being this harbinger of hope and cheer in this gloom and doom that existed.
COVID heroes have in a lot of ways stitched India together: Laxman Narasimhan, CEO, Reckitt
We are a very small player in all of this. But our heart has gone out as we have seen the frontline in action, the doctors, the nurses, the medical staff but also just the remarkable number of people in the community who stood up to be counted and so our heart goes out to all of them.
We should all just close our eyes for a couple of seconds and thank each and every one of our medical staff: NDTV’s Dr Prannoy Roy
I was in hospital, you cannot believe the kind of effort they all make to make you comfortable, to make you well and they don’t go home, 24 hour, round-the-clock, they are there, in their suits, in their attire, attending to you. The ward boys, the nurses, the staff, just incredible atmosphere and what a spirit: Amitabh Bachchan
This period has been very trying for all of us: Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan
This period has been very trying for all of us and not just within our country but all over the world and we haven't been able to find any kind of a positive solution to it but the fact is that the people who have been continuously fighting this war are just unbelievable - their spirit, their dedication, and their selflessness.
Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan joins #SalutingTheCovidHeroes Townhall
The stage is set for #SalutingTheCovidHeroes Townhall with Amitabh Bachchan
Less than two hours to go for the special #SalutingTheCovidHeroes townhall with Amitabh Bachchan
#SalutingTheCovidHeroes: Join us on NDTV - Dettol India special Townhall with Amitabh Bachchan to thank some of these COVID-19 heroes
The work done by individuals, organisations, and corporates in these difficult times - from providing food, oxygen, medicines, ambulance services to even performing last rites and cremating the dead bodies, showed exemplary spirit of selflessness and brought humanity together to cope with the crisis.
But as the nation struggled for oxygen, medicine, beds and even hope, there emerged ordinary individuals who, with their extraordinary contributions to help those in need to cope with their suffering.
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it untold pain and suffering.