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Coronavirus outbreak: Air India special flight to evacuate Indians today from Wuhan

The Jumbo 747 is a 423-seater airplane that will fly to Wuhan from Delhi for evacuating Indian citizens.

January 31, 2020 / 11:23 AM IST

National airline carrier Air India is set to rescue over 250 Indians from the locked-down city of Wuhan in China. The airline’s Jumbo Boeing-747 will depart from Delhi airport at 12.30 pm, as per a senior airline official.

Air India’s national spokesperson Ashwani Lohani tweeted, “The national carrier once again comes to the rescue - this time to evacuate Indians from Wuhan, the site of the outbreak of coronavirus. This mission begins today with a Jumbo 747 operating between Delhi and Wuhan.”

The Jumbo 747 is a 423-seater airplane that will fly to Wuhan from Delhi for evacuating Indian citizens. The evacuation comes a day after India confirmed its first case of Coronavirus in Kerala.

An Indian student, who was studying at the Wuhan University, was found positive in Kerala, the health ministry noted.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had seemed permission for operating two flights to bring back Indian citizens from the virus-affected city in China. The MEA has also reached out to over 600 Indians living in the Hubei province.

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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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MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that there is not any report of any Indian being infected by the coronavirus in Hubei province or any other country. Kumar also confirmed that there is no restriction on Indians returning to India from China following the outbreak.
As a precautionary measure, Air India and Indigo have suspended their commercial operations from India to China starting January 31; which will be in place until February 14.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 31, 2020 10:27 am

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