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Coronavirus outbreak: India among most prone nations, says new study

Earlier, another study conducted by the University of Southampton had ranked India 23rd under the top-30 countries most prone to novel coronavirus

February 10, 2020 / 09:39 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

The novel coronavirus outbreak has led to death of over 900 people in China and has so far spread to at least 25 countries.

As countries take measures to ensure containment of the outbreak, a new report has claimed that India is one of the most prone nations to coronavirus.

India ranks 17 in the list of countries most prone to coronavirus, according to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the Humboldt University in Germany.

Titled ‘2019 Novel Coronavirus Global Risk Assessment’, the study come out with its findings after analysing air traffic patterns of 4,000 airports worldwide, with over 25,000 direct connections between them.

The study has found that India has a ‘relative import risk (RIR)’ of 0.219 percent. RIR is the percentage of people travelling from the affected area to another country. “By looking at air travel passenger numbers, we can estimate how likely it is that the virus spreads to other areas. The busier a flight route, the more probable it is that an infected passenger travels this route,” the report reads.

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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New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has an RIR of 0.066 percent, whereas Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport has a 0.034 percent RIR.

Other airports in the list include Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (0.020 percent), Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (0.018 percent), Chennai International Airport (MAA) (0.015 percent), Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (0.010 percent) and the Kochi International Airport (CIAL) (0.007 percent).

Also read: Death toll from Coronavirus in China rises to 908, total cases jump to 40,000

China has the highest RIR of 85 percent, followed by Thailand, Japan and South Korea, among others.

Earlier, another study conducted by the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom (UK) had ranked India 23rd under the top-30 countries most prone to coronavirus.

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first published: Feb 10, 2020 09:39 am