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Last Updated : Nov 20, 2020 11:00 PM IST | Source:

Hong Kong bars Air India flights for two weeks after passengers found COVID-19 positive

This is the fifth time that Air India flights have been barred by the Hong Kong airport.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority on November 10 barred Air India flights for 14 days after some passengers were tested COVID-19 positive at the airport. This is the fifth time that Air India flights have been barred by the Hong Kong Airport Authority for bringing passengers who tested positive for the viral infection after arrival. The latest ban is imposed till December 3, 2020.

Prior to this, the Hong Kong Airport Authority had barred AI's Delhi-Hong Kong flights from August 18 to August 31, September 20 to October 3 and October 17 to October 30. Also, AI's Mumbai-Hong Kong flights during October 28-November 10 were also barred.

As per the notification released by the Hong Kong government in July, all the passengers from India can arrive in Hong Kong only if they have a COVID-19 negative certificate from a test done within 72 hours prior to the journey.


Hong Kong bars Air India flights for fourth time as passengers test positive for COVID-19 

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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Apart from India, a pre-flight COVID-19 negative certificate is mandatory for all passengers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US. However, all international passengers are required to undergo a post-flight COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong airport.

Among other details, the Hong Kong administration had made mandatory for an airline operating a flight to Hong Kong from these countries to submit a form before departure, stating that all passengers onboard have COVID-19 negative certificates.

Though Indian airlines have been permitted to operate special international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May, scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the pandemic.

(With inputs from agencies)
First Published on Nov 20, 2020 10:29 pm