09 April 2020 21:50

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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The rapid spread of COVID-19, a novel form of coronavirus, has become the defining global health crisis of our time. Seemingly overnight, the virus has changed our daily lives and the way we interact within our very own communities. But how did we get here? And what insight can we learn from scientists and experts? PANDEMIC: COVID-19, a 1-hour special, gives an in-depth look at the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe on April 15 at 10 PM on Discovery, Discovery HD and recently launched streaming service Discovery Plus.

As many have heard through the news, COVID-19 is believed to have jumped from animals to humans in a market in Wuhan, China. But how does this happen? Experts will shed light on its treatment and transmission, which initially baffled doctors and scientists who first encountered early patients who fell ill. The special will also look at how within a matter of weeks, COVID-19 spread throughout China and beyond, alarming healthcare professionals and scientists.

PANDEMIC: COVID-19 will take viewers inside the fight to contain the pandemic with the latest news on how the government is coordinating to test and treat patients, and to prevent further spread. Experts will reveal why COVID-19 is unique, why the world was so unprepared for it and what could have been done differently to contain its spread.

The special will also trace the origin of the outbreak in the United States to the first patient, its rapid spread in Seattle and probe the dramatic and unexpected transmission across the country. Viewers will hear from the leading experts in medicine on the frontlines as well as academia, government officials and patients with first-hand accounts.

Despite quarantines in multiple countries such as China, Korea and Italy, in a few short weeks the world has watched as the virus has spread – where countries such as Italy are seeing hundreds die each day, even while the country has gone into lockdown. Is the US prepared to face this global pandemic unrivalled in modern history? Every day the story takes another dramatic turn, as the number of infected and reported dead in the United States continues on an upward trajectory. PANDEMIC: COVID-19 will look at the effects of the drastic measures happening across America as institutions, schools and businesses are shut down to prevent transmission. This timely special will shed insight from those leading the fight to find answers as well as a possible cure.

Expert Speak

Talking about Covid-19 in the documentary, Dr Jennifer Rohn, Cell Biologist, University College London, says, “The normal circulating strain in the bats probably isn't causing much of a disease. But when it reaches humans, that's when all havoc breaks out, because it's in a new environment. She further adds, “Respiratory viruses have one aim: that is to get inside a human cell and use it as a factory to make thousands or millions of replacement copies that will then spread onto new cells. So often the cells will, will literally blow apart, as the virus is producing its millions of progenies.”

“The virus, people say sometimes is a piece of bad news wrapped in protein. It is a vector for getting genetic information into a cell and that genetic information just contains a blueprint to make more viruses. They were able to tell that although this virus was new, it was closely related to the original SARS virus,” explains, Professor Thomas Friedrich from University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the documentary. “With viruses it's much more challenging because mostly, they use our own cells to make more viruses. And so they're using our own cellular machinery, we can't poison that without poisoning ourselves.”

Highlighting the speed with which Covid-19 spread, Professor Dave O'Connor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, says, “I think this is an important reminder that we live in an interconnected world where viruses that emerge anywhere in the world, can be a threat to the entire world.” He adds in the documentary, “A vaccine for this virus is unlikely to be available in the next 12 months. What that means is these other sorts of preparedness measures need to be put into place, because we're not going to have a vaccine. And so expecting this to be like the movie Contagion is simply unrealistic.”

PANDEMIC: COVID-19 is produced for Science Channel by ITN Productions. For ITN Productions, executive producers are Ian Russell and Sarah Jane Cohen and producer is Nick Powell. For Discovery and Science Channel, Executive Producer is Gretchen Eisele.

Kids Insights, the global leaders in marketing intelligence, has recently issued its latest Digital Download report which focuses on the digital lives of this generation of children in India.

The reports are based on the results of surveying over 5,500 Indian kids from ages 3-18 years old through 1st December and 29th February 2020.

Kids Insights’ team has performed the most definitive study to date on how kids’ relationship of how much technology is changing kid’s attitudes, behaviour and consumption. Some of their key findings include new opportunities for YouTube licensing, the great potential of audio gaming and the increasing growth of the INXP (in-experience purchasing) market, where children purchase in-app and in-game purchases.

Based on the report, an average of 86% of all children in India have access to a mobile phone, making mobiles the most prevalent device access point. This enables children the ability to access entertainment, information and to shop.

Huge smartphone ownership also results in the rapid growth of mobile finance and payments in India. Kids Insights data from the last two quarters show that kids spending via PayPal has increased from 11% to 14%, as well as a 9% increase in spending via PayTM. With high rates of smartphones and low ownership of consoles, children in India are more likely than those in the UK and France to pay for apps and in-app content.

Jonathan Watson, CPO Kids Insights, comments:Our four Digital Download reports have produced significant insights, a must-have for anyone in the kid’s industry. With India home to the largest growing mobile payment market globally, there is potential to bring a new population into the economy and spending with brands online. Our latest data shows that teenagers are as likely to spend money on apps as they are to only download free ones (50% only download free), with the most common amount spent being between Rs90- 180 per month on apps, and importantly including in-app purchases. “

Kids Insights work with the most respected research panels in the world, both of which have multiple offices in Europe, North America and Asia and comply with GDPR, COPPA, the EU Safer Internet programme and all ESOMAR guidelines. They collect data in a linear manner, via an online survey, which means that they collect at least 410 responses every single week, 5,325 per quarterly reports and 21,300 annually. The sample is representative regarding both age and gender.

Kids Insights panel in India is conducted online. According to the World Bank latest figures, India has a 34% internet penetration level, therefore they estimate that their survey is reaching approximately 34% of the kids’ population in India.

Subscription for educational and fitness apps rises: Bobble AI report

Apps like Houseparty, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Udemy, and Lose Weight at Home leading the category during the lockdown

Social distancing and work-from-home have prompted Indians to navigate mobile apps and set up a routine for their quotidian entertainment and vocational needs. Unable to leave their homes to socialise with friends and family, watch their favourite movie in a cinema, people are increasingly turning to their smartphones for daily essential, skilling and fitness needs. Average screen time has increased manifold since entering self-isolation.

Bobble AI which is empowering the Next Billion Indians by making their communication personalized, expressive and smarter with its cutting-edge Artificial intelligence around input methods has released a report to better understand consumption pattern and user behaviour on smartphones ever since the nation-wide lockdown has been imposed.

*This trend report is based upon the anonymised and aggregated insights collected on Bobble AI platforms post and during the COVID-19 outbreak in India. This information is made available by Bobble AI for educational purposes as well as to give out general information on the usage of various apps and websites.

Bobble AI data intelligence and analysis shows:

Staying connected

● As every organization in a span of a mere one week has shifted towards the virtual world, video conferencing platforms have become imperative. Video Conferencing applications like Zoom, Google, Hangouts, Google Duo, and Houseparty have seen a 71.11% increase in time spent, with a 104.12 % increase in active user count.

● House party has seen a massive increase of 215.97% in time spent, along with an overnight spike of 8142.55 % in active users.

Followed by Zoom with an increase of 141.69%in time spent, with an 85.43% increase in engagement rate and a 2542.23% increase in active users.

Fitness and me

Apart from work from home, workout from home is a new furor.

● Fitness applications like, Lose Weight at Home, Cure.fit, Home Workout has seen a 39.50% increase in time spent with a 14.72% increase in engagement rate, and 104.53% increase in daily active users.

● Lose Weight at Home has seen a 46.98% increase in time spent, with a 49.33% increase in active users.

Up-skilling and reskilling

● E-learning platforms like Udemy, Unacademy and Byjus have seen an 82.73% increase in time spent, along with a whopping 122.62% increase in engagement and 25.12% increase in daily active users.

● Udemy has seen a 119.05% increase in time spent, with a 36.93% increase in engagement.

Entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment

● OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix have seen an 82.63% increase in time spent.

● Netflix has seen a whopping 110% increase in time spent, with a 50.71% increase in engagement rate and 54.80% increase in active user count.

● Followed by Amazon Prime Videos with a 98.92% increase in time spent, with a 32.75% increase in engagement and a 23.52% increase in daily active users.

Engaging on Social media

With the complete lockdown, Social Media and Messaging apps have also seen an instant boom.

● Applications like Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter have seen a 46.28% hike in time spent, with a 49.23% increase in engagement and a 29.55% increase in daily active users.

● There is a 57.64% increase in time on WhatsApp, with a 49% increase in engagement.

● Followed by Instagram with a 50.30% increase in engagement rate.

In partnership with Robinhood Army, ANN eases the distress of senior citizens

India’s leading media conglomerate, ABP News Network has once again come to the fore as a responsible news network, through their special initiative ‘Senior Patrol’. In partnership with Robinhood Army (RHA), ANN has undertaken this measure to help the most senior and susceptible members of society, amid the pandemic, by providing them with essentials like food, medicines, etc.

With a nationwide lockdown in implementation since March 25, infirm persons or elderly folk residing alone or away from their families & support networks are grappling with sourcing essentials like groceries and medicines. ANN-RHA volunteers are on the frontlines in ensuring their distress is eased, by delivering these essentials at their doorstep. While doing so, the volunteers are following all the government, health, and safety guidelines along with social distancing measures to ensure safe & responsible deliveries. Additionally, ANN is also helping RHA in reaching out to wider audiences by promoting the initiative on their news channels and inspiring more volunteers to join the cause.

Under this initiative, those families in need can simply fill an online form (https://robinhoodarmy.com/seniorpatrol/), which will carry all the necessary contact details of the senior citizens and the essentials they need, in terms of food and medicines. As the delivery is completed, an update will be sent by the local Robins. If ANN-RHA is unable to provide help in certain cites, especially those with a high risk of spread, they will notify the primary family member who nominated his/her aged relative and figure out an alternative way to help.

Apart from keeping the viewers apprised 24x7, ANN has been taking several initiatives to fight COVID-19. The media group is pulling out all stops to support the government in their effort to contain the novel virus.

Speaking on this initiative, Mr. Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP News Network said, “In these exceptionally challenging times, we take it as our duty to help those in dire need. We are proud to be collaborating with RHA to help the most susceptible members of the society and we hope the citizens will join hands with us in overcoming these difficult times through their support. At ANN, we have always stood by the nation in its hour of need and created a meaningful impact in the society. This is our time to step up and spread energy, enthusiasm, and generosity.” 

The platform is conceptualised by AutumnGrey group India

At a time when the world is dealing with a global pandemic, it is the duty and responsibility of every individual, community, and organization to do their bit to help in the fight against a common enemy.

As an agency with specialized expertise in tracking and utilizing real time data, AutumnGrey saw a huge increase in people’s need to track statistics and information about Covid19 in real-time. While several platforms, publishers and individuals immediately jumped to the cause, there were gaps in these initial solutions that left much to be desired.

The Coronavirus Update website conceptualized, developed and deployed completely in-house by Autumn Grey has several unique features to address the needs of the Indian populace. Immediately on landing, the website serves data and statistics specific to the region of the visitor accessing it. Additionally, a visitor will be able to see an embedded stream of tweets from government bodies in their region to stay updated on the latest advisories relevant to them. Last but not least, the website has been developed in 10 different languages from across the country, which can also be activated automatically basis the user’s location.

Talking about the platform, Anusha Shetty, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, GREY group, said “Fake news has been the world’s problems on many fronts, including news on the Corona virus. At a time like this, when we need to keep positivity at its peak this site with validates information is a blessing. More so, served in local languages for our diverse India. I am proud of my team for making a small difference in this challenging phase”

The data on the platform is only updated using the data made available by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and is therefore verified data exported into a much more user-friendly interface.

The combination of unique features custom-built for India and verifiable data are what make this platform a potent medium for information access and real-time updates for people across the country.


Creative: Nidhi Johar, Shyam Mohan, Swati Balani

Planning: Salil Shahane

Data: Mithun Cotha, Karthik Bhattarahalli, Keerthan Raj

Development: Santhosh Murugan, Rohan Khude

Client Servicing: Manisha Singh, Sakshi Karnik

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