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COVID tests at airports, railway stations to continue: Assam government

Earlier this month, the government had decided to discontinue mandatory COVID-19 testing at airports and railway stations from March 1, 2021, following a decline in new positive cases.

February 27, 2021 / 07:54 AM IST
Heartbreak and despair arrived quickly. Nightmarish scenes we had witnessed in China and Italy reached America, and the nation snapped to attention. Nursing homes near Seattle became the sites of the first deadly U.S. outbreak. We watched the elderly and frail suffer alone: An octogenarian with COVID-19, stretched out in a hospital bed, blowing her family a kiss through a window. (Image: AP)

Heartbreak and despair arrived quickly. Nightmarish scenes we had witnessed in China and Italy reached America, and the nation snapped to attention. Nursing homes near Seattle became the sites of the first deadly U.S. outbreak. We watched the elderly and frail suffer alone: An octogenarian with COVID-19, stretched out in a hospital bed, blowing her family a kiss through a window. (Image: AP)

The Assam government announced that its earlier order of suspending COVID-19 tests at airports and railway stations has been kept in "abeyance" and such clinical examinations at these places will continue.

Earlier this month, the government had decided to discontinue mandatory COVID-19 testing at airports and railway stations from March 1, 2021, following a decline in new positive cases.

An order issued by Principal Secretary (Health) Samir Sinha said the earlier instruction of cancelling testing on arrival at airports and railway stations from the beginning of March has been kept in "abeyance".

The fresh directive came after a spike in coronavirus infections was witnessed in some states of the country.

The COVID-19 screening and testing will continue at all the six airports in the state and railway stations as per existing protocols.

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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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Sinha also directed the district administrations and the integrated disease surveillance programme (IDSP) officials to ensure that contact tracing protocols are strictly followed.

Meanwhile, the state reported 30 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 2,17,484.

The death toll remained at 1,091 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported in the period.

Assam currently has 276 active cases, while 2,14,770 people have recovered from the disease so far.

The state conducted 68,20,414 sample tests for COVID- 19.

Altogether, 1,50,349 healthcare workers have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 27,743 have got the second vaccine shots.

A total of 45, 458 frontline workers have received the first dose of the vaccine so far.
PTI
first published: Feb 27, 2021 07:55 am

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