Positive cases of coronavirus in India continued to rise on March 26, with a total of 694 cases reported from the country. According to the Union Health Ministry, 16 virus-related deaths have been reported till now.
Here's a roundup of the day's developments:
>> Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures, including a Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package involving free foodgrain and cooking gas to the country's poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens, higher wages to workers and measures to boost liquidity of employees as it looked to contain the impact of the unprecedented nationwide lockdown.
>> Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a strongly worded statement at an emergency G20 Video Summit said that the coronavirus crisis is robbing us of our "most precious resource— our lives, our health". He stated that while the G20 emerged as the leading forum to mitigate the 2008 global financial crisis, "we have allowed a purely economic agenda to define globalization".
>> As the total number of cases neared 5 lakh across the world, and the global death toll soared to 21,000, G20 nations decided to inject USD 5 trillion into the global economy to counter the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
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.
>> Aviation regulator DGCA said that it has extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger services until April 14.
>> Delhi Metro services closure period extended till April 14, DMRC said.
>> The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 694, with a death toll of 16, Health Ministry said. Over 88 cases were reported today, the highest in a single day for India.
>> Scientists identified nearly 70 drugs that may be effective against COVID-19, as India remained under lockdown for the second day.
>> A 65-year-old man from Hyderpora area of Srinagar died, becoming the first fatality in Jammu and Kashmir due to coronavirus.>> In a press release, Maharashtra government said that shops selling essential commodities are allowed to remain open for 24 hours.