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Last Updated : Sep 23, 2020 10:57 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus India | States can use 50% of disaster relief fund to tackle COVID-19, says PM Modi

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.

PM Modi (India Government Press Information Bureau via AP)
PM Modi (India Government Press Information Bureau via AP)

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.

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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.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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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PM Modi asks states to focus on micro-containment zones

Speaking to the CMs and health ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu – which together account for 63 percent of the total coronavirus cases in India, the PM said: “Effective messaging is also necessary because most coronavirus infections are without symptoms. In such a situation, rumours may rise. It might raise doubts in the minds of the people that testing is bad. Some people also make the mistake of underestimating the severity of the infection.”

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First Published on Sep 23, 2020 10:57 pm