Addressing the nation on concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak, PM Narendra Modi on March 19 said that a task force will be set up to tackle the after-effects of the pandemic.
The taskforce will be headed by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.Sitharaman will hold the first meeting of COVID – 19 Economic Response Taskforce on March 20. She will be meeting ministers from animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, civil aviation, MSMEs and tourism.
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"The taskforce will work on ways to reduce economic difficulties. It will be in constant contact with all stakeholders. The taskforce will ensure all decisions are taken to tide over the economic crisis," PM Modi said in a televised address to the nation.
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.
Although Modi acknowledged the threat posed by the deadly coronavirus, he urged citizens not to create an environment of panic.Track all the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic
The Economic Survey 2019-20 has pegged India's economic growth at 6-6.5 percent in 2020-21.Follow our LIVE coronavirus coverage here.