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COVID-19 lockdown: IAF transports 600 tonnes of medical equipment, other essential supplies

India has been under a lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than to 28,000 people and killed 886 in the country till now.

April 27, 2020 / 07:53 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has transported approximately 600 tonnes of medical equipment and other essential supplies till date since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, the Defence Ministry said on Monday. On April 25, the IAF's transport aircraft landed at the Lengpui airport in Aizawl with 22 tonnes of medical supplies for combating COVID-19, the ministry said in a statement.

The items were airlifted for the governments of Mizoram and Meghalaya, it added.

India has been under a lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than to 28,000 people and killed 886 in the country till now.

All commercial passenger flights have been suspended for the lockdown period. However, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights permitted by the aviation regulator DGCA are allowed to operate.

The ministry said, "Till date, the IAF has transported approximately 600 tonnes of medical equipment and support material."

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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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A 15-member rapid response team of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) was sent to Kuwait on April 11 in response to the request from Kuwait to the Indian government.

On completion of the task, the team was airlifted back from Kuwait in a C-130 aircraft of the IAF on April 25, the ministry said.

"During the return, a six-year old girl, suffering from cancer and requiring immediate emergency surgery, was also evacuated along with her father," it said.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Apr 27, 2020 07:49 pm

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