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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

‘Billions Under Lockdown’: New book traces India’s fight against COVID-19

Published by Bloomsbury, the book claims to be a "thrilling tale" of unnamed thousands battling against a little-understood virus from the frontlines, bringing that "gripping theatre and its dramatis personae to life".

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: March 24, 2021 8:12:19 am
covid-19 MumbaiThe book, Billions Under Lockdown: The Inside Story of India's Fight Against Covid-19 is written by senior journalist Abantika Ghosh.(Representational Photo)

From the ‘janata curfew’ to the country’s first Covid-19 vaccination drive, a new book gives readers detailed account of India’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The book, Billions Under Lockdown: The Inside Story of India’s Fight Against Covid-19 is written by senior journalist Abantika Ghosh. Published by Bloomsbury, the book claims to be a “thrilling tale” of unnamed thousands battling against a little-understood virus from the frontlines, bringing that “gripping theatre and its dramatis personae to life”.

When WHO first declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, there was a great deal of apprehension about how India – the country with the highest TB cases and diabetes, inadequate health infrastructure and a population of 1.3 billion – would fare.

“Journalists are usually accused of having very short memories. Of course, this is not unfair criticism as we, far too often, look at issues only fleetingly and superficially. Having said that, in the twenty years that I have been in this business, 2020 was the first year in which, for ten months, I followed one story: COVID-19.

The 406-page Billions Under Lockdown, priced at Rs 699, is available for sale on offline and online stores. (Source: Amazon.in)

“I may even go as far as to say that I lived in a COVID bubble. I was writing about it, reading about it and, in whatever time I had left, I was answering questions from friends and family. So this book was perhaps destined to happen,” writes Ghosh in the book.

It was on March 23 last year that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown against COVID-19. A year on since the country went into a ‘janata curfew’ (people’s curfew), it is facing a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The fresh infections and deaths have pushed the country’s infection tally to over 11.68 million and the death toll has now risen to 1,60,166.

The author, with a ringside view of India’s fight against the deadly virus, offers an insight into India’s massive machinery working seamlessly — despite some missteps and missed infections — against the greatest challenge the world has encountered in decades.

The 406-page Billions Under Lockdown, priced at Rs 699, is available for sale on offline and online stores.

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