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Coronavirus pandemic | Panel led by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant starts working on response strategy

The panel held its first meeting on March 30, which saw attendance from several representatives of the private sector and industry.

March 31, 2020 / 09:38 AM IST

A panel led by NITI Aayog chief executive officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant has begun working on a response strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Empowered Committee held its first meeting on March 30, which saw attendance from several representatives of the private sector and industry.

Representatives of organisations such as ASSOCHAM, NASSCOM, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) attended the meeting.

Follow LIVE updates on the COVID-19 outbreak here

NGOs and international organisations have also been included in the committee, according to a report by The Economic Times.

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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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The panel has roped in representatives of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme and the Unicef, the report said.

The panel is one of the 11 committees formed on March 29 under the Disaster Management Act to form quick action plans to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

A report by The Indian Express said a six-member group headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul had held its first meeting on March 30.

The group of officers will frame a medical emergency action plan in the next few days, the report added.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 31, 2020 09:38 am

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