Contagion screening and panel discussion at AMU

 

Aligarh : In 2011, a motion picture follows the spread of a virus transmitted when sick humans touch surfaces and leave virus behind that others can catch. Next comes the frantic attempts by public health officials to identify and contain the disease and the ultimate introduction of a vaccine to stop the spread. Sounds like a story we are in the middle of?

This is the plot of Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Contagion’, an uncanny similar movie with the post-Covid world which was recently screened at the Kennedy Auditorium of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) followed by a panel discussion on ‘Understanding Pandemics: History, Impact and Recovery’. The screening and the discussion programme were organized in collaboration with the University Debating and Literary Club (UDLC) and the University Film Club (UFC).

In the colloquy with students and faculty members during the panel discussion, Prof Asad U Khan (Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit) answered queries on vaccine efficacy.

He pointed out: “Since the rollout of Covid vaccines began, health security agencies across the globe have been monitoring their effectiveness by looking at outcomes for the millions of people vaccinated compared to those unvaccinated”.

“A vaccine basically guides your body’s immunity to fight against the infection. We can say that with inoculations or by inducing immunity we are building an army to fight against the enemy, which in this case is the Covid infection. Vaccines will protect us against the virus and appropriate Covid behavior should be followed”, said Prof Asad.

Dr Husaini S Haider Mehdi (J N Medical College) remarked that ‘Contagion’ aptly shows how a pandemic could start and quickly grip the world and the adversity that can unfold.

He said that the history of pandemics has shown us that viruses cannot be treated but they can be prevented.

“Even if drugs do not work against a virus, people can be safe by following necessary measures to curb the pandemic spread”, added Dr Husaini.

He also shared experiences of working as a frontline doctor during the Covid waves and shed light on how vaccines can minimise the impact of the virus.

Prof Roomana N Siddiqui (Department of Psychology) urged people to be prepared in case the fourth Covid wave engulfs the length and breadth of the Country.

She encouraged people to be mentally tough and to go for a timely treatment.

In the welcome address, Dr Sadaf Fareed (UDLC, President) extended gratitude to the panelists.

Syed Mohd Suhaib (Secretary, UFC) and Md Sabeeh Ahmad (Secretary, UDLC) spoke about how the 2011 Hollywood flick, about the spread of a highly contagious and deadly virus came back in public consciousness as the world grappled with the Covid pandemic.

Shoeb Hashmi moderated the panel discussion and Abdullah Parwaiz extended the vote of thanks.

 

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