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COVID-19 impact: Smell should be a criterion for entry into malls, says Bengaluru Mayor

Bengaluru Mayor Goutham Kumar said smell tests should be made compulsory in malls, adding that people who can’t smell should be tested immediately

July 28, 2020 / 04:27 PM IST

Next time you go to a mall, you might be asked to take a smell test, apart from the mandated temperature check. This comes after Bengaluru Mayor Goutham Kumar believes the smell test can help detect a person with COVID-19, India Today reported.  

According to the report, Mayor Kumar said loss of smell should be checked along with temperature before they are allowed to enter the mall. “If a person can't smell things, he/she might not be allowed inside the mall,” Kumar said, adding that he will be writing to Chief Minister Yeddyurappa regarding the same.

Loss of smell and taste belong to the list of symptoms for COVID-19 mentioned by the Union Health Ministry. This is also reported by many who are infected with the coronavirus, along with more common symptoms like fever and sore throat.

This symptom is not exclusive to COVID-19. Experts believe that even this is possible when they have flu or influenza, it could be one of the early signs of the onset of the disease and prompt detection may help in early treatment, the report said.

According to the report, Kumar said smell tests should be made compulsory in malls, adding that people who can’t smell should be tested immediately and smell should also be a criterion.

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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As part of Unlock 1.0, the Karnataka government allowed malls and other places to open on June 8, with social distancing norms. The center is also considering reopening of cinemas, halls, and gyms as part of Unlock 3.0, which is slated to begin on August 1.

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first published: Jul 28, 2020 04:27 pm