COVID-19 Second Wave and Cities - Issue No. 193, July 2021

Originally published


This issue discusses the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit India in the beginning of April 2021. What followed were two months of a dystopian nightmare unfolding in India’s cities where the outbreak of the virus was so widespread and complete that hospitals ran out of space to accommodate the ever-increasing number of patients, crematoriums ran out of space to burn the piling dead bodies, harried family members of the sick ran from pillar from post to procure oxygen cylinders and the newspapers were filled with an interminable list of daily obituaries.

While the anger against the systemic failure of cities was palpable among the masses, the only silver lining to this dark cloud emerged from spectacular performance of private citizens and citizen groups in alleviating the suffering. Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook all became mediums to raise requests and forward leads to hospital beds, medicines and oxygen cylinders. Many people volunteered their time and resources in procuring the necessary lifesaving medicines and equipment for others.

This issue of South Asia is titled ‘COVID-19 Second Wave and Indian Cities’ and highlights how India’s cities were impacted from the second wave of the pandemic. In doing so, there are also indispensable lessons to be imbibed on how to be better prepared for any upcoming wave of the pandemic. Themes of social justice, inclusion, citizen empowerment, food security, water security, shelter security, livelihood security as well as the idea of empathy in the urban setting permeate all the articles included in this issue.

If India’s cities need to protect themselves from the onslaught of another wave of the pandemic, then the lessons highlighted in this issue need to be remembered well.

This issue's contents includes:
(i) Crying for Justice in Cities; (ii) Responding to the Second Wave of the COVID Pandemic in Indian Cities; (iii) May this be the Last Wave of COVID-19 in India; (iv) The Second Wave and Reflections on City Planning; (v) The Second Wave: Loss and Damage to Education; (vi) Impact of COVID-19 on Urban Environment in India; (vii) Impact of COVID -19 Second Wave in Cities of Tamil Nadu – Special Reference to Elderly Population; (viii) Impact of Covid-19 in Kabul- Afghanistan; (ix) Renewal of Community Resilience: Developing a new local resilience capability; and (x) The global COVID19 pandemic – Australian Fire Service’s Response

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Aravind Unni, Proshin Ghosh, and Savita Verma, IGSSS, New Delhi, India; Dr Paromita Chakraborty, SRM Institute of Science & Technology, Chennai; and Dr Girija Bharat, Mu Gamma Consultants Pvt Ltd., Haryana, India; Banashree Banerjee, Urban Planner, New Delhi, India; Kavita Anand, Ashoka Fellow, Maharashtra, India; Amrita Singh, SSU, Odisha, and Vatshala Kuanr, PMCA, Odisha, India; Renaldo S Rajkumar and Dr. F.X. Lovelina Little Flower, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India; Sameera Noori, Citizens Organization for Advocacy and Resilience (COAR), Afghanistan; Prof Duncan Shaw, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, UK and David Powell, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, UK; Mr. Mark Jones, Country Fire Service, Australia

Theme: COVID-19 Second Wave, Cities, Urban

Download issue: