Amidst emerging Covid clusters in some districts, the Karnataka government on November 28 suggested educational institutions to postpone all social, cultural and academic events for two months.
"All social and cultural events in educational institutions may be postponed for two months. Conferences, seminars, academic events, etc in educational institutions wherever possible, may be postponed. Alternatively, it can be conducted in hybrid mode i.e., with minimal physical attendance and with more persons attending through virtual mode," the order issued by the state government read.
Yesterday two persons were tested positive for COVID-19 after reaching Bengaluru from South Africa. They have been found positive for delta variants.
The World Health Organisation had on November 26 called the new strain of COVID-19 a "variant of concern". The first cases of new strain were reported from South Africa. The WHO has named the new strain Omicron.
This development comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 27 had chaired a high-level meeting to review plans for easing of international travel curbs and urged people to be more cautious, while several states moved quickly to take precautionary measures and remain vigilant.
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.