Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak, encouraged people to exercise social distancing, venture out on the streets only if absolutely necessary and observe restraint and resolve in order to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
Here are the key takeaways from his speech:
1. Every Indian should be vigilant. Avoid stepping out of your homes until it is absolutely necessary.
2. Senior citizens – those over the age of 60 years – should remain inside their homes only.
3. Dutifully observe Janta Curfew on Sunday, March 22 from 7 am to 9 pm.
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.
4. On March 22, the day of the Janta Curfew, at 5 pm, come out in your balconies and express gratitude to those working round-the-clock to keep India healthy (such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, municipal staff, armed forces, airport staff).
5. Avoid going to hospitals for routine check-ups. If there are surgeries that can be postponed, kindly do so.
6. COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force will be set up under the leadership of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to comprehensively look at ways to boost the economy.
7. Do not cut the wages of those working in your homes, support staff and drivers, gardeners.
8. Do not indulge in panic buying. India has enough food and ration supplies.9. Stay away from rumours.