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COVID-19 impact | DGCA extends suspension of international flights until July 31

Earlier on June 26, the aviation regulator had announced an extension of the suspension of international flight operations until July 15.

July 03, 2020 / 07:45 PM IST

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on July 3 further extended the suspension on international flights until July 31.

The DGCA did, however, note that "international scheduled flights may be allowed on select routes by the competent authority on case-to-case basis".

The restriction shall not, however, apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA.

Earlier on June 26, the aviation regulator had announced an extension of the suspension of international flight operations until July 15.

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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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International flight operations have remained suspended for around three months now, as flights to and from the country were suspended even before the March 24 announcement of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Domestic flight operations, which were also suspended in light of the lockdown, resumed in a calibrated manner starting May 25.

The government has, however, brought back several citizens stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic. It did so by operating flights under various legs of the Vande Bharat Mission, which is at present in its fourth phase.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had last month reiterated his stance that once domestic flights are scaled up to around 55 percent of their total operation strength, the government could look at resuming international operations.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 3, 2020 03:58 pm

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