In a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Centre on May 17 extended the nationwide lockdown till May 31.
India has been under lockdown since March 24 and this will be the fourth phase. However, there was considerable easing of restrictions this time.
According the new guidelines, the delineation of ‘red’, ‘orange’ and ‘green’ zones will be decided by respective states and Union Territory governments after taking into consideration the parameters shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The guidelines also state that night curfew between 7.00 pm and 7.00 am will continue, with the exception of essential activities.
So, will I be able to travel?
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.
According to the new guidelines, inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses has been permitted with mutual consent of the states and Union Territories. However, such movement will not be allowed in containment zones.
Domestic and international air travel remain prohibited, except for domestic medical services, air ambulances and for security purpose of purposes as permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Metro rail services across the country remain suspended.