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COVID-19 | Maharashtra's positivity rate nearly doubled in last 14 days, only state to see steep rise

In few pockets of Maharashtra, lockdowns have been reinforced to check the rapid transmission of virus.

February 23, 2021 / 05:44 PM IST
Representative Image (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Representative Image (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Maharashtra, which is witnessing a resurgence in coronavirus crisis, has seen its positivity rate nearly double in the last 14 days.

Other states, in the corresponding period, either witnessed a decline or only a marginal increase in the COVID-19 transmission rate.

In Maharashtra, however, the positivity rate grew to 7.7 percent from February 8-21, The Times of India reported. A fortnight earlier, between January 26 and February 8, the positivity rate was measured as 4.7 percent.

Maharashtra, along with Kerala, accounts for more than 70 percent of the country's total active caseload. The latter, however, has recorded a marginal decline in the positivity rate, which came down from 9 percent to 7 percent over the past two weeks, the newspaper reported.

In the past 14 days, Kerala added 62,447 new coronavirus cases, whereas, the tally grew by 54,597 infections in Maharashtra.


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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.

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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.

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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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The Centre has asked both the states to ramp up testing, and follow the tracing and isolation strategy to curb the pace of transmission.

In few pockets of Maharashtra, lockdowns have been reinforced to check the rapid spread of infections. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a webcast address to the state on February 21, said he would take a call on imposing statewide lockdown after eight days.

"Do we need another lockdown? I want you (people) to take a call on this. People who want a lockdown will not wear a mask. People who don't want a lockdown will follow safety rules and wear a mask," he said.

As per the latest update issued by the state health department on February 22, Maharashtra recorded 5,210 fresh COVID-19 infections, down from nearly 7,000 cases reported a day earlier.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Feb 23, 2021 05:44 pm

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