The central government on March 29 asked states to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as part of measures to prevent movement of migrant workers in several parts of the country.
"Only movement of goods should be allowed," the government said in a statement on March 29, adding that it issued direction that district and state borders should be "effectively sealed".
"Those who have violated the lockdown and traveled during the period of lockdown will be subject to minimum 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities," the government said.
After the government imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, thousands of labourers who began a long walk home said after they were left with little choice as work and public transport vanished.
The government has been roundly criticised for the delay in providing transport for these workers.
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.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 979 in India on March 29, with the death toll rising to 25.