Covid Reporting

Documenting administration response to pandemic

No pocket of life in India was left unharmed by Covid-19 with the least privileged facing the worst. Sudhakar wrote about the sweeping changes social and financial aspects of life went through in Hyderabad due to the pandemic and the government’s response in fighting the virus and its spread.

Like many of his colleagues risking their lives, Sudhakar went to hospitals to record the state and numbers of medical equipment for frontline healthcare workers. He filed a report on PPE gear being shipped to Serbia while shortage at home has led to doctors wearing raincoats to work. He brought awareness to the increasingly violent work environment for doctors due to the ire of patients’ families.

He kept the readers updated about the guidelines to safeguard from Covid-19, especially the collection and disposal of bio-medical waste from neighbourhoods. Hyderabad saw many lapses in the implementation of special protocols for the pandemic which he documented in the articles.

With Hyderabad being the vaccine hub of the world, teams of experts in the city’s many research labs such as CCMB and vaccine production hubs such as Bharat Biotech and Dr Reddy’s gave valuable insight into the nature of the virus and the means to fight it. This included reporting on the effectiveness of the various treatments for Covid-19. Plasma therapy gained a lot of traction at the beginning of the second wave but Sudhakar’s article showed that plasma therapy is not effective as it was thought before.

The race for obtaining Remdesivir injections and oxygen tanks for Covid-afflicted reached its peak during the second wave. Sudhakar filed reports about people taking advantage of the shortage by selling these in black for exorbitant prices.

Such actions weren’t limited to medical establishments as Sudhakar reported about how private crematoriums were refusing the take abandoned bodies because of non-payment from the administration. He also wrote about how the state government ignored the decrease in doubling time for Covid-19 cases in February 2021 which was a clear sign of an incoming second wave.

While in urban areas groups dependent on daily earning like auto drivers and migrant labourers were hit, Sudhakar also wrote about how the pandemic affected the farmers. Sudhakar wrote about farmers in rural areas and their call for a moratorium on loan repayments and interest waiver on crop loans.

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