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CBI alerts state agencies about narco-trafficking using PPE consignments

The agency had received the input from Interpol that international drug traffickers are taking advantage of the global pandemic situation to conceal their possible shipments in COVID-19 protective equipment consignments, they said.

May 12, 2020 / 09:49 PM IST

The CBI has alerted state police and central agencies about possibility of narco-traffickers using COVID-19 protective equipment consignments to conceal their contraband after an input from Interpol in this regard, officials said on Tuesday.

The agency had received the input from Interpol that international drug traffickers are taking advantage of the global pandemic situation to conceal their possible shipments in COVID-19 protective equipment consignments, they said.

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The officials said Interpol has alerted its 194-member countries through a purple notice about the possible activities of drug peddlers and the modes they may use to smuggle drugs.

Purple notice is issued by Interpol to seek or provide information on modus operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals.

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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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The CBI, which is the National Central Bureau for India tasked with coordination with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), immediately swung into action and alerted all Interpol Liaison Officers (ILOs) to alert their respective police organisations about possible unscrupulous activities of narco-smugglers, they said.

ILOs are officers deputed in every state police organisation to Liaison with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over matters related to Interpol.

Earlier, Interpol had alerted about cyber criminals using ransomware to target hospitals and fake testing kits being in circulation for COVID-19.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: May 12, 2020 09:45 pm

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