Covid-19 has a grandma, grandpa and great grandpa. Where are they?

The 76-day Covid-19 shutdown in Wuhan, China, was lifted on April 7, 2020. The search for the genesis of Covid-19 is developing into an epic story. Thanks to the insinuations by the US President Donald Trump — ‘China virus’, ‘Wuhan virus’, etc. — that were explosive in their political and strategic content, Beijing is now …

Kerala’s Covid story is hard to replicate

The Times of India featured a tantalising commentary last week titled Kerala shows the way: Decades of investment in public health is helping the state control Covid-19. The title is self-explanatory. The commentary showered fulsome praise, rightly so, on Kerala’s success in controlling the coronavirus outbreak. It attributed Kerala’s success story to three factors: the …

Europe eases Covid-19 lockdown but caveats remain

European Union unveiled a road map to phase out Covid-19 pandemic containment measures, Brussels, April 15, 2020 A European Union road map plotting the way out of the containment measures to counter Covid-19 — commonly known as ‘lockdown’ — was unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday. The document titled Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures holds …

Biden invites the left into his coalition to take on Trump

Senator Bernie Sanders (R) endorsed the candidacy of Joe Biden (L) in the US presidential election in November For all practical purposes, Joe Biden has emerged as the Democratic Party’s nominee in the US presidential election in November. There was an inevitability about it once Bernie Sanders sensed that despite his impressive network of volunteers …

Why the OPEC+ deal is a many-splendoured thing

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech proposing a summit in September of the “founder countries of the United Nations, the five states that hold special responsibility to save civilisation,” Jerusalem, Israel, January 23, 2020 A perfect deal is where all protagonists get something out of it. All oil-producing countries stand to gain if oil …

Flawed coronavirus battle plan lands Sweden in big trouble. India’s blend of risk aversion and practicality is the right approach.

No social distancing in Stockholm: Sweden has taken a “flexible” approach, but Prime Minister Stefan Löfven regrets that wasn’t good enough. It might have sounded exciting two days ago to propose the Swedish pathway as the ideal route for India to pursue to combat the coronavirus . But no longer so.  When it comes to …

Covid-19 confronts American exceptionalism

The coronavirus-struck USS Theodore Roosevelt nuclear aircraft carrier went into ‘self-isolation’ in Guam base after disembarking 5000 sailors on board. File photo.  The greatness of the classical Greek tragedies lies in their humanising effect on the spectator or reader — “catharsis”, the purification or purgation of emotions, a metaphor first used by Aristotle in the …

We desperate Indians also need ventilators, Mr. Trump

President Trump’s crowded White House press conferences to discuss the coronavirus have become daily events, Washington, DC, March 13, 2020  It often puzzles me what transpires during high-level visits by world leaders. The substantive content of such events laced with pomp and glory impacting inter-state relations is generally handled by sherpas, quietly and unobtrusively. (Of …

Don’t threaten Afghans. It will be counterproductive.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appointed his political rival  Mohammad Haneef Atmar, as acting foreign minister, Kabul, April 4, 2020 The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in the US State Department, Alice Wells dropped a bombshell early morning today on the Afghan government and the country’s political elites …