Prannoy Roy Talks To Chief Ministers, Experts On Fighting New Virus Spike: Highlights

Is India witnessing a sudden new spike in coronavirus cases and if so, what can we do to counter it? Dr Prannoy Roy's special Townhall with Chief Ministers Amarinder Singh, Pinarayi Vijayan, N Biren Singh, Pramod Sawant and Jairam Thakur.

Is India witnessing a sudden new spike in coronavirus cases and if so, what can we do to counter it? Dr Prannoy Roy's special Townhall with Chief Ministers Amarinder Singh, Pinarayi Vijayan, N Biren Singh, Pramod Sawant and Jairam Thakur. Also on the show, Eric Topol from Scripps Research Translational Institute, Dr Devi Sridhar from University of Edinburgh, and Nobel prize winner in Economics, Professor Alvin Roth.

Highlights of Dr Prannoy Roy's Townhall On Coronavirus:

Dr Roy-

  • Estimated influx of workers in Bihar: 10 Lakhs
  • People in quarantine: 7.5 Lakh
  • Daily 1 lakh people are coming to Bihar.
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  • Incoming travellers have high percentage of coronavirus positive cases.
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-

  • We can't let our guard down till the time there is a single patient.
  • Have to live with the virus.
  • There's concern about people who are coming back to the state.
  • We have sufficient institutional quarantine facilities.
  • Food is being provided through community kitchens.
  • Have to tide over the economic crisis. Roughly estimated, there's a loss of Rs 80,000 crore to the state due to the lockdown.
  • 6,900 ICUs, 1,500 ventilators available in the state if required.
  • We are giving assistance to the MSMEs, IT, Industries.
  • Giving relief through pensions, food kits.
  • Kerala is the state with the lowest infection rate and highest recovery rate.
  • We strictly adhered to the guidelines by the centre.
  • We made sure that politics shouldn't come in the way of fighting the virus.
  •  We issued a package of Rs 20,000 crore to mitigate the crisis.
  • Kerala is looking at the Rs 20 lakh crore package with a positive attitude.
  • We feel that the focus should have been to put money in the hands of the people.
  • We consider ourselves servants of the people.
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  • Kerala, the first state to control the virus, has seen a sudden spike because of the travellers.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh-

  • They (migrants) are mainly coming from Nanded (Maharashtra)
  • Some came from Kota (around 150)
  • 20,000 will be coming to Punjab in the next few weeks
  • Every person returning will be put in quarantine
  • Those asymptomatic will be under home quarantine
  • We have enough stocks of ventilators and masks
  • Have hospitals, beds, doctors; prepared for the worst
  • We can't take a risk the way things are going globally
  • Things look good for us at the moment
  • In Punjab, we have total 13.5 lakh labourers
  • 3.5 lakh people have gone back to their states
  • Many are now opting to stay back as industries are opening again.
  • NGOs have distributed 3 crore food packets in the state
  • Everyone is putting their best efforts to fight the pandemic. It has been a combined effort.
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  • Punjab is currently India's Number 1 state as far as as controlling the virus is concerned.
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  • Punjab and Kerala have the best rates of recovery.

Eric Topol-

  • The virus hasn't gone anywhere and people may still get infected
  • There aren't proper guidelines
  • Everyone all over the world wants to reopen, but there have to be proper guidelines

Pramod Sawant

  • Not a single case in Goa (in the second spike) has been from within the state. All the cases have come from outside.
  • Only two of the 40 people were asymptomatic.
  • We are testing everyone regardless of the mode of transport they are taking for the travel.
  • We will declare SOPs on tourism after May 31 as we are controlling coronavirus at the moment.
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  • After reporting no cases for weeks, Goa now faces a sudden spike of COVID-19 patients.

Jairam Thakur, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister

  • We have 6 medical colleges including AIIMS.
  • We have trained out doctors well.
  • Our doctors are performing well.
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  • Himachal had the coronavirus spread under control. Then it suffered a spike from May 7.
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  • RO rate is the key measurement of the spread of infections.

N Biren Singh-

  • We started screening as soon as in January. We had shut the borders.
  • People of our state are very cooperative and disciplined
  • We are maintaining social distancing.
  • 147 quarantine centres are there in the state.
  • Many people are coming back in the state now.
  • We are worried that a huge number of people will come back to the state, but they are from Red zone areas, like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
  • Planning to bring back people via train.
  • We have already allowed MSMEs, agriculture and horticulture work.
  • We are keeping the lockdown in market areas, but in the hills, we are relaxing.
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  • There has been a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in Manipur.
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  • Assam was coming under control, but witnessed a spike in the last 10 days. 
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  • Chhattisgarh has seen a spike in the last five days.
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  • Gujarat, one of the worst coronavirus-hit states, is witnessing a downward trend now.
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  • Jammu and Kashmir has started showing some improvements.

Alvin E Roth

  • The economy will recover
  • Economic recovery will be long and uneven
  • In the long term, we shouldn't be too worried about it.
  • Life will be different after this pandemic.

Dr Devi Shridhar

  • When I come from a public place, does my clothes and shoes could carry virus?  Yes. May be leave your shoes outside, quickly change and wash your clothes. The virus can be transmitted through clothes and shoes.
  • Is touching a door knob dangerous? Yes. Best to wear gloves, or use disinfectant
  • What do I do with shopping bags? Use soap and water, throw shopping bags after using.
  • What do I do if I get to know that I came in touch with someone infected with virus? Isolate yourself, stay away from your family members.
  • Do the phones get infected as we leave them on tables? Yes, wipe your phone. Washing your phone ones or twice a day should be sufficient.
  • Is there anything that could be done to protect your eyes? Wearing glasses might be helpful.
  • What about ACs? No good answer available, not sure if the virus gets transfered through aerosols.
  • Can anyone go to the hairdressers and barbers? You have to be very careful. Make sure they have a mask and you have a mask.
  • What do I do if an immediate neighbour gets infected from the virus? Depends on what you have shared with them - entrances, mailboxes etc. Somebody living at a distance, it is unlikely.
  • Can it get transferred through currency notes? Yes, wash your hands after handling currency.
  • Does the virus have a life cycle? It can stay on the surface of a phone for a few days but can go away in a day from outside areas like a bench.
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  • There is no improvement in Karnataka's coronavirus situation.
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  • There has been a sudden spike in Rajasthan's coronavirus curve.
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  • Uttar Pradesh has suffered a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in the last four days.