Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet is offering RT-PCR COVID-19 tests to its passengers for Rs 299 only.
Additionally, through its healthcare arm SpiceHealth, SpiceJet has also launched the country’s cheapest coronavirus testing facility for general public at Rs 499 on March 11, reported The Times of India.
A statement issued by the carrier read: “SpiceHealth has also tied up with SpiceJet to offer a price of Rs 299, which is one-third of the prevailing market rate, for its passengers who wish to get the crucial COVID-19 test done and thus contributing to making flying even more safe and convenient.”
In the first phase, SpiceHealth will make its testing facility available in Mumbai and Delhi. The company will collect test swabs from people’s homes at nominal rates. Customers may even book appointments on www.spicehealth.com and get COVID-19 tests done at the nearest SpiceHealth mobile laboratory. SpiceJet passengers too will be able to book an RT-PCR test on the website; to avail the discounted rate they would have to provide their PNR number.
The PNR number will be for one-time use. Passengers will get to opt if they want to get the COVID-19 test done before travel or up to 30 days after travel.
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.