ITC Ltd on Friday said it is setting up a contingency fund of Rs 150 crore for vulnerable sections of the society in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The corpus is created to address and manage the challenges arising out of the adversity, a company statement said.
"This fund will be utilised primarily to provide relief to the vulnerable and most needy sections of the society who have been harshly impacted by the pandemic and have faced significant disruption in their livelihoods," it said.
In addition, the company said it will collaborate with local authorities to provide assistance to the district health and rural healthcare eco-system that reaches out to the weakest sections of the society.
The diversified conglomerate stated that resources under this fund will be channelised towards the protection and well-being of the ground forces who are doing their works to reach medicines, groceries, other essential goods and sourcing of agri-commodities, among other for people across the country during the lockdown.
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.
ITC has geared its value-chain to lend support to the government in its efforts to fight the threat, a company official said."In these trying times, it is critical to ensure adequate availability of essential food and hygiene products in the country. We are working with state authorities and local administration to ensure that manufacturing and distribution activities continue uninterrupted with bare minimum people," he added.