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Coronavirus pandemic | Centre allows monthly export of 50 lakh medical overalls in PPE kits

The Centre has only allowed the export of medical coveralls, and “other items that are a part of PPE kits continue to remain prohibited for exports”

June 29, 2020 / 07:50 PM IST

Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on June 29 that the Centre has allowed export of 50 lakh medical overalls in personal protection equipment (PPE) suits every month. He claimed this move will help boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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He took to his official social media handle and tweeted:

One must note here, the Centre has only allowed export of medical coveralls, and “other items that are a part of PPE kits continue to remain prohibited for exports.”

PPEs include protective gear that help protect frontline workers from being exposed to biological agents. These can include medical coveralls, face-shield, facemask, goggles, gloves, head cover and shoe cover. Demand for these has increased drastically since the outbreak of the highly contagious novel coronavirus disease earlier this year.

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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.

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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.

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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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first published: Jun 29, 2020 07:50 pm
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