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AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria co-authors book on India's fight against Covid

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) "Till We Win" -- a definitive account of India's fight against Covid-19, how to cope with the pandemic in the days to come and dealing with essential questions like how long will wearing masks be necessary and whether at all a permanent cure is possible -- co-authored by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria is expected to be released later this month, its publisher, Penguin Random House, said on Monday.

Updated Nov 02, 2020 12:24 PM

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria co-authors book on India's fight against Covid

"'Till We Win' is a book of hope. It will show how India has continued to persevere in her fight against this deadly virus. It will answer many essential questions. How long will we have to go on wearing masks? Will we need to wear a mask even after we get a vaccine? What if there is no effective treatment against COVID-19? From the general public to political leaders, policymakers and physicians, each and every kind of reader will be enlightened by this powerful book which has the potential to transform public health in India," Penguin said in a statement.

"There has been talk of a pandemic for many years. Yet, we never really thought it would cause so much disruption till Covid-19 hit our country. 'Till We Win' is a story of how no country was fully prepared for a pandemic of the nature of Covid-19, yet India pulled together despite all odds, and is continuing to successfully tackle the pandemic. The book deals with the realisation of inner strength and unity amongst people of all walks of life in a country known for its cultural and linguistic diversity," Guleria, India's first DM in pulmonary medicine, said.

Commenting on the scope of the virus and its future, co-author Gagandeep Kang, an infectious disease researcher who links community-based research to high quality laboratory investigation, said: "Viruses emerge and sweep through the world because of human action, but scientists now have the ability to recognize new infections early, track their spread, and develop tools for diagnosis and prevention quicker than ever before in history."

"The scale of SARS-CoV2 was surprising, but in just a few months, our increased understanding and effective approaches have been able to better prevent infections and treat those who are severely ill. We will handle this pandemic and use what we learn to do better next time," added Kang, who, with 30 years of research at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, has built collaborative programmes focused on enteric diseases, nutrition and the environment and supported the development of two rotavirus vaccines made by Indian companies through clinical and laboratory testing.

One of the key developments during the Covid-19 pandemic has been that health became a mainstream discourse, said co-author Chandrakant Lahariya, a leading public policy and health systems expert who has received advanced training in epidemiology, vaccinology, immunology and public health and who has extensive experience in disease control & elimination though his work on polio elimination, routine immunization strengthening as well as outbreak and epidemic investigations.

"The need for stronger health systems and a better provision of public health (preventive and promotive) services has been recognised by political leaders, policy makers and public alike. There is emerging learning that the countries with stronger primary health care services had more effective pandemics response.

"The book delves into how learnings from COVID-19 pandemic can be used to strengthen Indian health system, for better, forever. It is up to all of us to convert the challenge posed by pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen health systems. We sincerely hope that everyone will find the book helpful in their day to day life," Lahariya added.

Commenting on the book, Premanka Goswami, Executive Editor, Penguin Random House India, said the three doctors "are the most authoritative figures to talk about how we, as a nation, fought and continue to fight against the novel virus" and have "offered a clear roadmap for the future".

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