SARS-CoV-2 has unleashed massive destruction and misery across the world. India was not spared from its catastrophic impact either. One of the significant learnings from this pandemic has been to strengthen India’s healthcare system. SPI carried out a policy dialogue in partnership with The George Institute for Global Health on COVID-19, stressing the need for India’s preparedness to counter such unforeseen crises in the future.
Attended by over 160 participants globally, the two-hour-long symposium on Evidence, Decision Making and Policy for COVID-19 in India engaged researchers, clinicians and policymakers in discussions of lessons learned from the ongoing pandemic. Eminent policy experts and academics were invited to discuss the role of research evidence in public health and the use of such evidence in driving policy.
Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar, Scientist E at ICMR- National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai, presented the findings from the national serosurvey which he and his team from ICMR conducted over the prevalence of SARS-COV-2 infection in India; Dr. Brian Wahl, Epidemiologist and Faculty Member, Department of International Health, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shared lessons and findings of his study carried out on epidemiology and transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in Indian States ; Dr. Priscilla Rupali, Professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Deputy Chair of Hospital Infection Control, Christian Medical College spoke on the topic ‘Evidence Synthesis on Clinical Management of COVID-19 and finally Dr. Rajani Ved, Public Health Practitioner and Ex-Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Center, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, shared her thoughts on the topic, ‘What constitutes evidence during a public health crisis? Challenges for Policy and Programmes’