Maharashtra on Saturday reported 9,812 fresh coronavirus positive cases and 179 fatalities, taking the tally to 60,26,847 and the toll to 1,20,881, the state Health department said. Of the 179 fatalities, 106 had occurred in the last 48 hours and 73 in the last week. The state also added 332 deaths which had occurred in the past to its overall tally, it said.
With 8,752 patients being discharged during the day, the tally of recoveries in Maharashtra reached 57,81,551 so far, leaving the state with 1,21,251 active cases, the department said in a report. The case recovery rate in Maharashtra now stands at 95.93 per cent while the case fatality rate is two per cent.
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A total of 6,28,299 people are in the home quarantine while 4,272 in the institutional quarantine, the report said. With 2,34,367 new tests, Maharashtra has so far tested 4,08,31,332 samples, it said.
Mumbai city reported 648 cases, taking its cumulative tally of infections to 7,19,610 and 15 fatalities, which raised the toll to 15,383. The Mumbai division reported 1,964 new cases and 46 deaths taking the caseload to 15,87,681 and the toll to 31,771, the department said. Nashik division added 777 cases and 15 deaths of which 10 were from Nashik city. Pune division's caseload increased by 2,460 while 27 people died of COVID-19, the report said.
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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.
Kolhapur division continued to report the highest number of cases in Maharashtra. On Saturday, the division added 3,826 cases of which 1,551 were from rural parts of Kolhapur district. Out of 59 new deaths in the division, 21 were reported from rural parts of Kolhapur, the report said. Aurangabad division reported 208 fresh cases and 13 deaths while Latur division added 290 infections and 13 fatalities, it said.
Akola division reported 206 new cases and three deaths while Nagpur division added 81 infections and three fatalities, the report said. Maharashtra's coronavirus tally is as follows: Positive cases 60,26,847, new cases 9,812, deaths 1,20,881, recoveries 57,81,551, active cases 1,21,251, total tests so far 4,08,31,332.