India’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been characterized by a pro-active public sector leadership and centralization of decision-making. The private sector and academics stepped up to the play in the early days in myriad ways, from wanting to boost testing capacity to providing models to forecast the spread of the disease. Few of these measures were effected in controlling the epidemic, many of the models did not have the data or the correct expertise truly to be helpful. One of the critiques of the response has been the lack of trained infectious disease epidemiologists at the decision-making table. With India beginning its vaccination drives, there were again attempts by thinktanks to propose strategies for prioritizing allocation.

In the fourth episode of The COVID Chronicles podcast, Dr. Satchit Balsari speaks with Dr. Sanjay Mehendale, Director of Research at PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, as they discuss the importance of domain expertise in preparing to combat the epidemic.

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