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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 10 October 2020

What Xi Should Do

  • China scholar M Taylor Fravel: Beijing has viewed the border with India as a “secondary strategic direction”.
  • Its primary focus is in an arc from Japan, past Taiwan to the South China Sea
  • A border which the US has continued to press on the past 70 years.

  • China acts on this south-western secondary direction, when it feels that India is threatening its claims or stability. Its purpose is to restore the situation, but not to impose a final settlement”.
  • Reading China’s top leadership minds is never easy
  • Ladakh - Both sides have massed forces and have the capacity to launch localised attacks.
  • But neither seems to have gathered the numbers or made preparations that would go into a larger war.
  • Diplomatic channels have remained open
  • There has been talk of new CBMs, but with the spectacular failure of the older ones it defies imagination what they could be.
  • Actually, the time has come for the two sides to settle their dispute, or, settle down on a mutually acceptable LAC.
  • Xi bears the main responsibility here, having roiled the situation in the first place.
  • China is probably not aware of the emotions in this country.
  • Most Indians see the current rupture as being similar to that of 1962.
  • Xi cannot be unaware that the US is seeking to draw India into the western Pacific theatre.
  • The texture of Indo-US military relations is improving and recent official US comments on Chinese aggressiveness in the Himalayas are a signal.
  • China can step up its deployments, pin down India in an expensive and extensive deployment along the Himalaya.
  • New Delhi will still retain sufficient capacity to pose a threat to China in Tibet.
  • This will detract Beijing from its focus on its primary strategic direction which has now reached a dangerous phase with both Taiwan and the US.
  • Pushing India to join that enterprise is hardly something that China would want.

Medicine’s Neglected Half

  • Rise in non-communicable diseases and chronic lifelong conditions - relevance of palliative care is growing
  • Earlier, it was primarily restricted to people with cancer.
  • Now those with HIV/AIDS, neurodegenerative disorders (including forms of dementia), progressive neuromuscular diseases, metabolic disorders, terminal organ failures, cardiac or respiratory conditions, liver conditions, and others, are all included.
  • There are people living with incurable health conditions, and palliative care can give them a good quality of life provided they use it early.
  • Yet palliative care is not recognised as it should be, and access to it is restricted.
  • According to the WHO, approximately 40 million people annually are in need of palliative care, of whom 78% live in low and middle income countries.
  • Of the estimated 21 million children who have palliative care needs, almost 98% live in low and middle income countries.
  • Making palliative care accessible to all those who need it is not an impossible dream.
  • Misconception is that improving access to opioids like oral morphine, so essential for meaningful pain control, will lead to increased substance abuse.
  • National health policies and systems will have to reboot themselves to include palliative care as a vital component at all levels of health care.
  • NGOs are doing a commendable job, but are limited in their reach and ability to raise funds.
  • Training in palliative care for all health care professionals, especially for health workers at the grass roots level, will have to receive priority along with access to essential medicines, like opioids for pain relief.
  • Local communities must be mobilised for this effort.
  • And I am not only referring to physical pain but to mental and spiritual pain as well.
  • My care, my comfort” is the message of this year’s World Hospice & Palliative Care Day.

Saving lives under the long shadow of the pandemic

  • The fear of being infected and anxiety about an uncertain present and future have impacted mental health severely.
  • Lockdowns have led to isolation, in turn heightening anxiety and causing depression in societies, particularly in vulnerable communities’.
  • There is some evidence that ‘deaths by suicide increased in the United States during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, and among older people in Hong Kong during the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic’.
  • Before the pandemic, India’s progress as one of the fastest growing economies led to large paradigm shifts in the daily lives of its citizens.
  • Major lifestyle shifts led to the rise of many lifestyle disorders in the last decade.
  • Mental health disorders are one of the disorders of most concern, which have been swept under the carpet of stigma and discrimination.
  • Many suicides are related to psychological disorders and distress.
  • Necessary precautions such as social distancing, limited interactions and mask usage have become the new normal, with a huge social, physical, economic and mental consequences.
  • Unfortunately, India has the dubious distinction of reporting the first COVID-19-related suicide in the world, on February 12, 2020.
  • While progress on a COVID-19 vaccine is promising, uncertainty as a result of the pandemic is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
  • The fear of getting infected, coupled with a lack of knowledge and the economic fallout has created a new level of stress not seen by many before.
  • This is compounded by isolation from the community, causing high levels of mental duress and ultimately, COVID-19-related suicides for many.
  • The findings reveal that one in four of these deaths occurred among hospitalised patients.
  • The sudden closure of alcohol/liquor outlets resulted in an increase in alcohol-related suicides.
  • As we continue to fight the novel coronavirus, there is a growing need to make mental health and suicide prevention a priority.
  • At an individual level, any early signs of poor mental health such as a sudden change in behaviour, substance use, anxiety, disturbed sleep and difficulty in communication should not be ignored.
  • Suicide prevention requires a mix of a top-down and a bottom-up approach, ensuring that all interventions are rooted in empathy.

THREE UNIVERSAL STRATEGIES

  • Including a ban or reduction in access to highly hazardous pesticides
  • Reduction in consumption and availability of alcohol
  • A non-sensationalised and responsible portrayal of suicide by the media.
  • A majority of individuals who are suicidal do not really want to die but find living difficult.
  • Support at the right moment can change this decision.
  • Understanding, compassion and support, at both an individual and the systemic levels, can save a life.
  • On World Mental Health Day (October 10), there is the most important message for the ones who may be having suicidal thoughts: You are not alone and must reach out for support, as help is available.

NEWS

  • EC doubles broadcast & telecast time for National and recognized State Parties on DD and AIR during Bihar Assembly polls
  • COVID-19 recovery rate in country improves to 85.52 pct
  • World Food Programme awarded 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for combating hunger
  • Govt extends deadline for filing GST annual return for 2018-19 till Oct 31
  • PM Modi greets India Post Office team on World Post Day
  • India remains committed to peace, prosperity & stability in Afghanistan: S Jaishankar
  • NIA files charge-sheet against eight people in Bhima Koregaon case
  • Piyush Goyal administers COVID pledge to Railway officers & staff through video conferencing
  • WHO awaits China's approval on list of international experts to probe origin of Coronavirus
  • China formally joins WHO led COVAX initiative on COVID-19 vaccine
  • Nepal’s COVID-19 cases cross one lakh mark
  • Hong Kong arrests 10,039 people over past year for protests, violence
  • Bangladesh to accept only WHO recognised COVID 19 Vaccin
  • e
  • Mortal remains of Ram Vilas Paswan arrive in Patna; several political leaders pay tributes to departed leader