The PM made the announcement at a virtual meeting with the chief ministers and health ministers of seven states and union territories that currently have the highest COVID-19 caseload.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allowed states to use 50 percent of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to step up their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He made the announcement at a virtual meeting with the chief ministers and health ministers of seven states and union territories that currently have the highest COVID-19 caseload.
At the meeting he chaired on September 23, the prime minister stated that a key demand of the states has been to allow them to use 50 percent of the SDRF to rein in the disease spread, which has now been accepted. Earlier, states were only allowed to use 35 percent of the crisis fund.
PM Modi also said now that more money can be pumped in to mitigate the health crisis, states must focus on effective messaging as most of India’s COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic, and such patients may be underestimating the infection. That apart, regular testing, tracing, surveillance, and treatment remain important too.
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.