Letters to the editor dated October 6, 2020

| Updated on October 06, 2020

Nobel for Medicine

The Nobel Prize for Medicine 2020 was awarded to a trio of scientists, Harvey J Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M Rice for “the discovery of Hepatitis C virus” and deservedly so. Scientists are among the best of our species. They continue to push back the boundaries of knowledge and make it possible for us to overcome existential threats in many forms in the march of time and prolong our survival in the process.

The contributions of these virologists-cum-newly-designated Nobel laureates to the global public health are immense. Alter demonstrated that an unknown virus was the causative agent of chronic hepatitis. Houghton isolated the genome of the new virus named Hepatitis C virus. And Rice provided the conclusive evidence that Hepatitis C virus alone could cause the disease.

The discovery made in stages is an impactful scientific accomplishment of our times.

Hepatitis C virus is of the Flavivirus family; it is transmitted via blood. It is a life-threatening disease, causing liver damage and, in serious cases, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. The liver, as we all now, is a vital organ performing an active role in key physiological processes and obviously its inflammation is a serious medical condition. Even though no vaccine against HCV could be developed as yet, there is now definite cure for the medical condition caused by this virus.

In this Covid-19 pandemic time, the award of this year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine raises the hope that science will give humankind vaccines and drugs to vanquish the SARS-CoV-2 from the face of the earth.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

Overworked women

This refers to ‘It’s all work and no pay for most women in India’ (October 6). Women being burdened with excessive work in every sphere of life is not a new matter. Though the article has dealt with the topic well, the important need of providing workable suggestions for improving the situation is not dealt with. To tackle the problem, there’s a need to organise hard-hitting campaigns at regular intervals and the results evaluated. Such campaigns are especially required in rural area.

TR Anandan


Frequent flyer points

Various airlines give frequent flyer points (FFPs) to their customers. There is a large section of people, including Parliamentarians, government employees and others, who frequently fly at Central/State government expense. All airline companies should be asked to open frequent flyer accounts in Central/State government names.

FFPs on air-tickets purchased with public money can be credited directly to such government accounts. Reimbursement later by the government should be allowed only when the traveller gives certificate or proof of getting FFPs credited in government accounts.

Madhu Agrawal

New Delhi

Decontrol sugar sector

This refer to the editorial ‘Another bitter year’ (October 6). It is time the sugar industry is unshackled from government control.

The remunerative MSP is good enough to sacrifice other crops at the altar of cane. With plummeting crude oil prices, blending of ethanol is not a financially viable option and oil marketing companies are therefore wittingly not complying with the government diktat even though it is an environment-friendly fuel. While cooperatives in the South are salvaging this highly seasonal industry to an extent, the government reneging on its commitment is putting the sustainability of the sector to question. The government must let market forces run the industry.

Deepak Singhal


Crimes against women

Apropos ‘Hathras shocker: Is UP back to badland days?’ (October 6). Jungle raj appears to have returned in UP. The atrocities on Dalits continue and the government tries to suppress facts and block justice. This will only lead to the ruling party losing its image, which may echo in the upcoming election.

NR Nagarajan


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

Published on October 06, 2020

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