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Coronavirus update: Here's what Bill Gates thinks may happen after October

As the world is deep in the clutches of COVID-19, Bill Gates has come up with another warning that may not sound very pleasant to many.

June 26, 2020 / 02:19 PM IST
Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Long before Coronavirus hit the world, we've known how billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates had gauged how devastating a pandemic can be for people and economies across the world. Now, as the world is deep in the clutches of COVID-19, Bill Gates has come up with another warning that may not sound very pleasant to many.

In an interview with CNN, Bill Gates said the virus may be back in October and November in greater numbers in the US "if we don't restrain our behavior more than it looks like we are right at the moment".

Though he was speaking specifically about the US but considering how countries globally have more or less followed a similar timeline to open the economies it may translate into the virus getting stronger and spreading further around October and November across the world.

In the interview, Gates stresses on restraining behaviour or using masks and following social distancing better to arrest the spread further. He adds that quarantining COVID-19 positive cases and contact tracing is helping many countries control the virus.

Gates has been working in the field of health and sanitation as part of his philanthropic efforts through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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Notably, a TED talk by Bill Gates in 2015 was much talked about after Coronavirus outbreak took shape after it first surfaced in China in December 2019.

In the talk, Bill Gates had said, "If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it's most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes. Now, part of the reason for this is that we've invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents. But we've actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We're not ready for the next epidemic."
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 26, 2020 02:19 pm

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