Chhota Hafta 308: New strains of Covid, government responses to the pandemic, justice in India, and Rajinikanth


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This week on Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, and Jayashree Arunachalam are joined by Priyanka Pulla, an independent journalist, and Jammi N Rao, an independent public health physician.

The conversation begins with the detection of new strains of Covid in the UK and South Africa. Jammi points out that the two variants are “very different” with different mutations. He believes it was the “hard work of the scientists” that led to it being found in the UK first, and also because the UK has “one of the most advanced labs in the world”.

Manisha asks Priyanka about the highs and lows of the Indian government’s response to the pandemic. “There was too much denial regarding Covid,” Priyanka says. “Till date, the government has not agreed to community transmission.” India did “ramp-up tests when we got down to it”, she says, but communication was a big failure on the part of the government.

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