While several states are continuing COVID-induced lockdowns and other restrictions, a few have begun gradual easing of curbs.
Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Sikkim were among the states that extended restrictions on May 30 by another on-two weeks. Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir eased the restrictions with areas with fewer active COVID-19 cases.
While shops have been permitted to open for more hours, at some places malls have also been allowed to function on certain conditions, PTI reported. However, education institutions will continue to remain closed.
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.
Let's take a look at the eased restrictions in two of the states:
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on May 30 said that the current lockdown restrictions will continue in the state, with some easing.
However, the state government has announced partial relaxations in districts with a positivity rate of 10 percent or less, and less than 40 percent occupancy of oxygen beds.
In these districts, the opening hours of essential shops will now be 7 am to 2 pm, as against earlier timings of 7 am to 11 am.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions will remain closed.
The state government decided to ease the restrictions in districts with less than 600 active COVID-19 cases.
In these districts, shops and "bazaars" are now permitted to remain open from 7 am to 7 pm. The relaxation will come into effect in 55 districts of the state, where the active caseload stands below 600.
In 20 other districts of UP, however, there will be no relaxation since the active COVID-19 caseload is more than 600.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions across the state will remain closed, and the weekend curfew will continue.(With inputs from PTI)