The Delhi government has so far given Rs 5,000 each to 8 lakh beneficiaries under widow, differently abled and elderly pension schemes to help them overcome the crisis owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the resultant nationwide lockdown, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
In a briefing on April 3, Kejriwal said there are 384 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Delhi, of which 58 are foreign travellers who are now in the state. As many as 259 infections are linked to the Nizammudin Markaz, a religious congregation held last month.
Talking about relief operations by the Delhi government, the chief minister said distribution of 7.5 kilograms of ration per person to the needy had started, which would benefit 71 lakh people. Around 60 percent have already received it.
The economically weaker segments who are severely affected by the lockdown, such as construction workers, and auto rickshaw and taxi drivers will also receive Rs 5,000 financial assistance. The state government has already opened 1,780 centres to feed the poor. Some 380 odd shelters have also been set up for migrant workers who are returning to their hometowns.
The Delhi government has also launched a dedicated WhatsApp helpline number to provide people accurate information about COVID-19. One has to send a 'hi' or 'hello' on '8800007722' to receive information on the disease, including symptoms, treatments and the Delhi government’s arrangements.
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.