As the Indian cricket team is slated to tour South Africa next month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Treasurer Arun Dhumal assured that the Board is in regular touch with Cricket South Africa (CSA) to ensure that players' safety is taken care of amid the new COVID-19 variant, which has emerged in the African country.
"There is nothing to say as of now. Both boards are regularly in touch. Player safety and their health is paramount for both boards. We are monitoring the situation closely, as soon as both teams feel there is anything that needs to be done, they will take a call," Dhumal told news agency ANI.
The treasurer also emphasized that crowds being allowed to watch the matches live is a secondary thought at the moment, the priority primarily is to make sure the games happen, which is supposed to begin on December 17. The Indian team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur has specified that the BCCI must consult with the government before sending the team to South Africa.
"Not only BCCI, but every board should also consult the Indian government before sending the team to a country where a new COVID-19 variant has emerged. It is not right to send the team to a country where there is a threat, if BCCI consults us we will deliberate on that," ANI quoted Thakur.
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.
World Health Organisation (WHO) on November 26 sounded an alarm among countries after a new variant of COVID-19 was classified in South Africa. On November 27, WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, as 'Omicron'.
This came after the WHO held a meeting to discuss the newly-identified COVID-19 variant. "The recently discovered variant of coronavirus B.1.1.529 is of concern. It has more mutations than science knows about other alarming variants. The WHO has assessed this new variant as worrisome," the statement said.(With inputs from ANI)