COVID-19 and Mental Health: Working together in India

COVID-19 is re-writing human history. Two thirds of the world is under “lock-down”, trillions of dollars in global savings and revenues have been wiped out, world GDP is contracting, and millions will be losing their jobs. It is shaking the entire health establishment of the world. The number of infected people is nearing two million and more than 113,000 people have lost their lives, including 100 doctors and many other health professionals. The world is looking at a calamity, worse than a world war and with no end in sight.

India, with a huge population of 1.38 billion, is facing a daunting task. There is a nation-wide “lock-down” from March 24 to April 14, 2020 which is likely to be extended. The Union and State Governments are doing tremendous and co-ordinated work. The number of infected is nearing 9,000 with nearly 300 deaths. But we fear the worst is not over, and hence there is constant vigil. The enormity of the country’s size and population is making the task of the planners and health professionals much harder.