The Delhi government on February 26 lifted all COVID-19 restrictions in view of the declining number of coronavirus infections being reported daily coupled with reduced hospitalisations.
The state government also said that wearing a mask will not be mandatory while travelling in a car. “Till now only single drivers were exempted from wearing masks while driving, but now all the people travelling in a private car have been given an exemption,” it added.
All the COVID-19 restrictions and prohibitions will be lifted from Delhi with effect from the intervening night of February 27 and February 28 till further orders.
The decision was taken after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the National Capital on February 25 under the chairmanship of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. At the review meeting, it was observed that the number of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate have declined considerably; also, hospital bed occupancy is “very low… therefore, it has been decided to remove all restrictions in NCT of Delhi imposed by the DDMA”.
However, Delhiites will have to continue wearing face masks and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Further, the hybrid/ blended mode (both offline and online) of learning and consent from parents will continue to be followed for students up to class 9 as well as for class 11 up to March 31 in schools, educational/ coaching institutes.
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.
The circular issued by the authorities mentioned that while allowing all such activities, the wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene and ventilation in closed spaces shall continue to be enforced at all places.
Authorities concerned shall take action against defaulting persons as per law, including the closure of defaulting of establishments, business premises, weekly markets, exhibitions, gatherings, etc.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here