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      Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agriculture in India: Cross-sectional results from a nationally representative survey

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          Abstract

          The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted agriculture in India in many ways, yet no nationally representative survey has been conducted to quantify these impacts. The three objectives of this study were to evaluate how the pandemic has influenced: (1) cropping patterns and input use, (2) farmers’ willingness to adopt sustainable agricultural practices, and (3) farmers’ COVID-19 symptoms. Phone surveys were conducted between December 2020 and January 2021 with farmers who had previously participated in a nationally representative survey. Values are reported as weighted percent (95% confidence interval). A total of 3,637 farmers completed the survey; 59% (56–61%) were small/marginal farmers; 72% (69–74%) were male; and 52% (49–55%) had a below poverty line ration card. A majority of farmers (84% [82–86%]) reported cultivating the same crops in 2019 and 2020. Farmers who reported a change in their cropping patterns were more likely to be cultivating vegetables (p = 0.001) and soybean (p<0.001) and less likely to be cultivating rice (p<0.001). Concerning inputs, 66% (63–68%) of farmers reported no change in fertilizers; 66% (64–69%) reported no change in pesticides; and 59% (56–62%) reported no change in labor. More than half of farmers (62% [59–65%]) were interested in trying sustainable farming, primarily because of government schemes or because their peers were practicing it. About one-fifth (18% [15–21%]) of farmers reported COVID-19 symptoms in the past month (cough, fever, or shortness of breath) and among those with symptoms, 37% (28–47%) reported it affected their ability to work. In conclusion, COVID-19 infections had started to impact farmers’ productivity even during the first wave in India. Most farmers continued to grow the same crops with no change in input use. However, many expressed an interest in learning more about practicing sustainable farming. Findings will inform future directions for resilient agri-food systems.

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          Global Prevalence of Post COVID-19 Condition or Long COVID: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review

          Abstract Introduction This study aims to examine the worldwide prevalence of post COVID-19 condition, through a systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods PubMed, Embase, and iSearch were searched on July 5, 2021 with verification extending to March 13, 2022. Using a random effects framework with DerSimonian-Laird estimator, we meta-analyzed post COVID-19 condition prevalence at 28+ days from infection. Results 50 studies were included, and 41 were meta-analyzed. Global estimated pooled prevalence of post COVID-19 condition was 0.43 (95% CI: 0.39,0.46). Hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients have estimates of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.44,0.63) and 0.34 (95% CI: 0.25,0.46), respectively. Regional prevalence estimates were Asia— 0.51 (95% CI: 0.37,0.65), Europe— 0.44 (95% CI: 0.32,0.56), and North America— 0.31 (95% CI: 0.21,0.43). Global prevalence for 30, 60, 90, and 120 days after infection were estimated to be 0.37 (95% CI: 0.26,0.49), 0.25 (95% CI: 0.15,0.38), 0.32 (95% CI: 0.14,0.57) and 0.49 (95% CI: 0.40,0.59), respectively. Fatigue was the most common symptom reported with a prevalence of 0.23 (95% CI: 0.17,0.30), followed by memory problems (0.14 [95% CI: 0.10,0.19]). Discussion This study finds post COVID-19 condition prevalence is substantial; the health effects of COVID-19 appear to be prolonged and can exert stress on the healthcare system.
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            Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19

            The immune system protects the host from pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites). To deal with this array of threats, the immune system has evolved to include a myriad of specialised cell types, communicating molecules and functional responses. The immune system is always active, carrying out surveillance, but its activity is enhanced if an individual becomes infected. This heightened activity is accompanied by an increased rate of metabolism, requiring energy sources, substrates for biosynthesis and regulatory molecules, which are all ultimately derived from the diet. A number of vitamins (A, B6, B12, folate, C, D and E) and trace elements (zinc, copper, selenium, iron) have been demonstrated to have key roles in supporting the human immune system and reducing risk of infections. Other essential nutrients including other vitamins and trace elements, amino acids and fatty acids are also important. Each of the nutrients named above has roles in supporting antibacterial and antiviral defence, but zinc and selenium seem to be particularly important for the latter. It would seem prudent for individuals to consume sufficient amounts of essential nutrients to support their immune system to help them deal with pathogens should they become infected. The gut microbiota plays a role in educating and regulating the immune system. Gut dysbiosis is a feature of disease including many infectious diseases and has been described in COVID-19. Dietary approaches to achieve a healthy microbiota can also benefit the immune system. Severe infection of the respiratory epithelium can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), characterised by excessive and damaging host inflammation, termed a cytokine storm. This is seen in cases of severe COVID-19. There is evidence from ARDS in other settings that the cytokine storm can be controlled by n-3 fatty acids, possibly through their metabolism to specialised pro-resolving mediators.
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              On Chi-Squared Tests for Multiway Contingency Tables with Cell Proportions Estimated from Survey Data

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                PLOS Sustainability and Transformation
                PLOS Sustain Transform
                Public Library of Science (PLoS)
                2767-3197
                August 18 2022
                August 18 2022
                : 1
                : 8
                : e0000026
                Article
                10.1371/journal.pstr.0000026
                67de9e6f-b3a4-4a29-80cf-2fdb57a6aae0
                © 2022

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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