A young woman wearing a protective mask in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, Delhi, March 2020.(PTI)
A young woman wearing a protective mask in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, Delhi, March 2020.(PTI)

New virus variant a threat to the young

According to Unicef, over 460 million children have been unable to access remote learning tools last year. The harms extend to their health too. Disruptions in health services in lower- and middle-income countries could contribute an additional two million under-five deaths.
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 09:13 PM IST

A new variant of the coronavirus that has taken hold in some parts of the United Kingdom (UK) has scientists scrambling to uncover its implications on the pandemic. Early signs indicate it may be capable of spreading faster by being better at how it infects people. A large epidemiological analysis by Imperial College London and others showed there was a significantly larger share of infections of the new strain among those found with the virus in people under the age of 20. While this is still an early assessment, and more studies are underway, it could potentially prolong Covid-19’s impact on children, who have not been the face of the crisis but have suffered in equal measure as among some of the worst-hit groups. The virus has arrested their educational as well as socio-emotional development as they are forced indoors to avoid a virus that can debilitate older member of their families, even if it doesn’t impact them directly.

According to Unicef, over 460 million children have been unable to access remote learning tools last year. The harms extend to their health too. Disruptions in health services in lower- and middle-income countries could contribute an additional two million under-five deaths.

These costs are rarely the most visible talking points. But these must be kept in mind as the new variant forces countries such as the UK to once again close schools. India must do everything it can to not be forced to take a similar step when it plans to finally reopen schools. We must make the best use of vaccines and containment efforts not just to save lives, but also stop the mounting costs to our younger generation.

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The government must be applauded for this imaginative diplomacy, aided in no small measure by the structural advantage of being the world’s pharmacy (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
The government must be applauded for this imaginative diplomacy, aided in no small measure by the structural advantage of being the world’s pharmacy (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

India’s vaccine diplomacy | HT Editorial

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:37 PM IST
India started its vaccination drive against Covid-19 on January 16
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At the root of it is both the BJP and Trinamool’s belief that they have the first right to claim Bose. (Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)
At the root of it is both the BJP and Trinamool’s belief that they have the first right to claim Bose. (Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)

The political battle over Netaji | HT Editorial

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:37 PM IST
To be true to the present, both sides must be truthful about the past, instead of making one of India’s icons a subject of political wrangling
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On Thursday, the day when the index crossed 50,000, India’s price-earnings multiple (a measure of whether a stock is overvalued or undervalued) was 34.36. (REUTERS)
On Thursday, the day when the index crossed 50,000, India’s price-earnings multiple (a measure of whether a stock is overvalued or undervalued) was 34.36. (REUTERS)

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By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 10:46 PM IST
The occasion of Sensex, the benchmark index of BSE crossing 50,000 (it has since fallen below that level), has been used by analysts to don their cheerleader costumes and predict that it could touch 100,000 in the next five years
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Farmers take part in a protest against the newly passed farm laws on the outskirts of Delhi, December 17, 2020 (REUTERS)
Farmers take part in a protest against the newly passed farm laws on the outskirts of Delhi, December 17, 2020 (REUTERS)

Farmers should shed rigidity

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:19 AM IST
The government retreated. Protesting groups should have reciprocated. In a democracy, farm groups exercised their right to protest — but they should not take over the rights of a sovereign Parliament and an elected government, and dictate terms from the streets.
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The room for dissent in the party is limited even as leaders can see clearly that its electoral prospects — in both state polls and 2024 elections — remain dim (HTPHOTO)
The room for dissent in the party is limited even as leaders can see clearly that its electoral prospects — in both state polls and 2024 elections — remain dim (HTPHOTO)

The Congress must get its act together

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:20 AM IST
The CWC is itself a part of the problem, for it is a body of nominated individuals, many with limited or non-existent mass base who have thrived on patronage politics.
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Along with domestic priorities, the Biden presidency will have to deal with the most important strategic challenge of the times— the belligerence of China (AFP)
Along with domestic priorities, the Biden presidency will have to deal with the most important strategic challenge of the times— the belligerence of China (AFP)

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UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 07:30 PM IST
Joe Biden’s elevation as the 46th President of the United States (US) marks a moment of victory for all those who believe in liberal democracy, civilised politics within the rules of the game, responsible leadership, and the inclusion of various social groups, including minorities, in the power structure
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Delhi’s air quality slipped into the “severe” category on Tuesday, for the sixth time this month (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Delhi’s air quality slipped into the “severe” category on Tuesday, for the sixth time this month (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

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PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 07:22 PM IST
As Parliament prepares to take up a full-fledged Bill for approval to back the newly formed Commission for Air Quality Management by law, it is time to re-evaluate the non-meteorological reasons that are responsible for bad air in the National Capital Region
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India's Shardul Thakur (C) bowls to Australia's batsman Cameron Green on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba, Brisbane, January 18, 2021 (AFP)
India's Shardul Thakur (C) bowls to Australia's batsman Cameron Green on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba, Brisbane, January 18, 2021 (AFP)

A new team comes of age

UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 06:10 AM IST
There may be no greater test of character in sport than a Test match run chase
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A medical worker inoculates a nurse with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad, January 18, 2021. (AFP)
A medical worker inoculates a nurse with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad, January 18, 2021. (AFP)

Autopsy of a pandemic: Hold China, WHO accountable

By
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 06:11 AM IST
The findings of a new report are an affirmation of what has long been regarded — but not acknowledged — as damaging negligence by Beijing and WHO
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Farm unions have not responded to the government’s offer to amend the laws, or to the Supreme Court’s directive to cooperate with a committee meant to examine the issue in detail (PTI)
Farm unions have not responded to the government’s offer to amend the laws, or to the Supreme Court’s directive to cooperate with a committee meant to examine the issue in detail (PTI)

Don’t let challenges turn intractable | HT Editorial

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:20 AM IST
Both the China ingression and the stance of the farm unions are disparate issues, born out of their own specific histories
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According to a news report, US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed at least 20 Indian-Americans, with 17 of them in White House positions — 13 of the 20 also happen to be women. (AFP)
According to a news report, US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed at least 20 Indian-Americans, with 17 of them in White House positions — 13 of the 20 also happen to be women. (AFP)

Under Biden, the rise of Indian-Americans

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 07:16 PM IST
India would do well to cultivate them, as it would cultivate any US official at high levels, but respect their identity beyond their Indian roots.
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A health worker carries a carton containing vaccines during the delivery of the first consignment of 1,000 vials of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, Jaipur, January 13, 2021 (Himanshu Vyas/ Hindustan Times)
A health worker carries a carton containing vaccines during the delivery of the first consignment of 1,000 vials of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, Jaipur, January 13, 2021 (Himanshu Vyas/ Hindustan Times)

And the vaccine is here

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 07:46 PM IST
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Prime Minister KP Oli’s unconstitutional move to dissolve Parliament (the new Nepali Constitution does not give the PM the right to do so) has led to a de facto split in the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). (Getty Images)
Prime Minister KP Oli’s unconstitutional move to dissolve Parliament (the new Nepali Constitution does not give the PM the right to do so) has led to a de facto split in the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). (Getty Images)

Delhi’s balancing act with Nepal | HT Editorial

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:37 AM IST
Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali is in Delhi for a bilateral meeting
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The ruling puts the provisions of SMA on a par with personal laws which require no notice period (PTI)
The ruling puts the provisions of SMA on a par with personal laws which require no notice period (PTI)

Upholding the right to liberty and privacy | HT Editorial

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:37 AM IST
The Allahabad High Court has upheld the fundamental right to liberty and privacy with its ruling that a 30-day notice is not mandatory for those seeking to get married under the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954
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WhatsApp, the most popular mobile communication tool in the world, is going to great lengths to explain that its new use policy does not jeopardise the privacy of its users by sending additional data to its parent company, Facebook. (REUTERS)
WhatsApp, the most popular mobile communication tool in the world, is going to great lengths to explain that its new use policy does not jeopardise the privacy of its users by sending additional data to its parent company, Facebook. (REUTERS)

To big tech, India must send a message

UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 10:35 PM IST
WhatsApp’s new policy is now a strong reminder of why India must expedite work on its own data protection law so that Indians have a right to say to big tech — “We don’t agree”.
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