At present, India is the third worst-affected country, only after the United States and Brazil.
With nearly 1 lakh fresh cases in the last 5 days, India's COVID-19 case count has crossed 7 lakh, and the death toll due to the infection over 20,000. There are around 2.59 lakh active cases of coronavirus in the country at present. However, the country's total case tally has been on the rise with a daily increase of over 20,000 fresh cases.
Globally, there are over 1.1 crore reported cases of coronavirus and over 5.35 lakh people across the world have lost their lives due to the infection, as per the latest update by the World Health Organisation (WHO). At present, India is the third worst-affected country, only after the United States and Brazil.
Here are the top developments of the day:
> Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who has drawn widespread criticism for downplaying the coronavirus as "a little flu", has tested positive for COVID-19.
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.
> West Bengal government is all set to implement a strict lockdown in containment zones, starting July 9. The order has come in the wake of a rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the state.
> The country's second largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has decided to reward over 80,000 of its frontline employees with a salary hike of up to 8 percent in recognition of the services rendered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
> With the film industry stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on July 7 said the government is coming up with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for shooting films in India and is also set to provide incentives for production to accelerate restarting of film-making.
> Face masks and hand sanitisers have been removed from the list of essential products as their supply is sufficient in the country. They have now been kept out of the purview of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said on July 7. These items had been declared essential commodities earlier in March to boost supply and prevent hoarding amid the coronavirus pandemic.
> Even as the Centre continues to stand by its assessment that India has not yet entered the community transmission phase of coronavirus, Karnataka state minister JC Madhuswamy on July 7 said coronavirus is spreading at the community level in the state.
> Lockdown measures were reimposed in Australia's second biggest city, Melbourne, on July 7, confining residents to their homes unless undertaking essential business for six weeks, as officials scramble to to contain a coronavirus outbreak.
> In a major setback for Indian students, the United States has announced that the country will not issue visas to foreign students if their classes have been moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.> IT services major Infosys has brought back over 200 of its employees and their families, who were stranded in the US amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.