The country's largest insurer -- Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) -- has contributed Rs 105 crore to the The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.In a press statement, the life insurer said that of the Rs 105 crore, a sum of Rs 5 crore has been donated from LIC's Golden Jubilee Fund.
LIC Contributes Rs.105 Crore to PM CARES Fund to support India's fight against Covid-19. LIC reaffirms its solidarity in supporting the efforts of Government of India in combating the global pandemic. #IndiaFightsCorona @DFS_India @PMOIndia @nsitharaman @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/PkPtkKDmV0
— LIC India Forever (@LICIndiaForever) March 31, 2020
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India stands at 1,251. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said that 102 patients have recovered so far, but 32 have died.
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LIC is the country's largest life insurer serving over 29 crore policies and an asset base of over Rs 31 lakh crore. It holds over 70 percent market share in the life insurance sector.
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.
LIC Chairman MR Kumar said India is facing a huge challenge in the wake of the global pandemic, which is unprecedented in its severity. "...we will take every step to ensure safety and security of the people and relief for the affected," he added.
The PM-CARES Fund was set up on March 28 to raise money to deal with any COVID-19 like emergency situation and provide relief to the affected.
The contribution to PM-CARES Fund will be used for the most critical activities pertaining to COVID-19 such as testing, setting up of isolation wards, procurement of personal protective gear and ventilators.
All companies donating to the fund before March 31, whether in old or new tax structure, will get tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.Till now, a slew of companies including Reliance Industries (contribution of Rs 500 crore), PFC (Rs 200 crore), L&T (Rs 150 crore), Infosys Foundation (Rs 100 crore), Bharti Enterprises (Rs 100 crore, of which a large portion is for this fund), NMDC (Rs 150 crore) and JSPL (Rs 25 crore) have donated to PM-CARES Fund so far.