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Goa: As COVID-19 cases rise, casinos, cinema halls to operate with 50% capacity

Goa has seen a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases over the last couple of days with 170 infections being reported on Wednesday.

December 29, 2021 / 09:42 PM IST
Goa night sky

Goa night sky

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Goa, the government on Wednesday issued an order allowing casinos to operate with 50 per cent capacity with entry restricted to people who are fully vaccinated or those carrying a negative RT-PCR test report and put similar curbs and conditions at some other establishments, including cinema halls and entertainment parks. Goa has seen a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases over the last couple of days with 170 infections being reported on Wednesday.

State Revenue Secretary Sanjay Kumar in the order stated that casinos, cinema halls, auditoriums, community halls, river cruises, water parks and entertainment parks cannot operate beyond 50 per cent of the seating capacity. Only people who are fully vaccinated and possess a certificate of both doses with 15 days gap since the administration of the second dose will be allowed to enter casinos, the order stated.

ALSO READ: Full vaccination or COVID-19 negative report must for going to parties, restaurants in Goa: CM Pramod Sawant

If not a vaccination certificate, people should furnish a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 24 hours from the time of entry, it said. The order further directed spas, massage parlours, restaurants, pubs, bar halls, auditoriums, gyms, marriage venues, cinema halls, river cruises, water parks and entertainment parks, among others, to adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols, including use of masks, hand sanitisers and thermal screening.

The state government has made owners, managers, licensees and organisers responsible for the enforcement of the guidelines, including making necessary arrangements for verification of vaccination certificates and test reports. Meanwhile, the order also mentioned that schools may reopen subject to the separate SOPs to be issued on behalf of the Education Department.

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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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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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Interstate movement will be permitted only for people who are fully vaccinated or for those entering Goa for medical emergencies or for people carrying COVID-19 negative certificate issued 72 hours before arrival, it said. In case of inter-state goods vehicles, two drivers and a helper will be allowed to enter Goa in each vehicle after subjecting them to thermal screening, it was stated.
PTI
first published: Dec 29, 2021 09:42 pm
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