Transporters fear that the population of truck drivers could reduce drastically once the nation-wide lockdown is lifted because many are eager to return to their home town, reported Times of India. A majority of these truck drivers were on highways when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown on March 22.
"Some have already gone back to their villages and others are stranded on highways, waiting for the lockdown to be lifted so they can go back home," said Abhishek Gupta of Bombay Goods Transport Association. Transporters have appealed to truck drives to continue work so that the supply of essential goods remains unaffected.
Bal Malkit Singh of the All India Motor Transport Congress, a national body of transporters also said that there is a 'shortage' of truck drivers. "Whoever is available, has to be paid more to ply trucks," he said.
The All India Motor Transport Congress, which represents nearly 90 lakh truck owners, had earlier written to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to say that essential services should also be provided to these truckers – who could neither reach their place of residence or native place due to the lockdown that was imposed on March 24.
Meanwhile, All India Transporters Welfare Association is encouraging drivers to return to work.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.