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Delhi makes negative COVID-19 test report mandatory for people coming from these 5 states

Earlier, the Karnataka government mandated a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours for those arriving in the state from Maharashtra, following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases there.

February 24, 2021 / 11:54 AM IST
A car is sanitised at the entrance of a mall as part of a demonstrated sanitisation procedure by mall authorities ahead of its reopening during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi. (Representative image: Reuters)

A car is sanitised at the entrance of a mall as part of a demonstrated sanitisation procedure by mall authorities ahead of its reopening during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi. (Representative image: Reuters)

All travellers from Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab will need a negative COVID-19 test report to enter Delhi from February 26 to March 15 in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in these states, reported news agency ANI. An official order will be issued later in the day.

The issue had been discussed in a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on February 22.

Maharashtra is showing a daily surge in COVID-19 cases, according to an official of the Union Health Ministry. Kerala is showing an incremental decline, but the daily cases in absolute numbers is still high over there. Punjab, with its daily increase in cases, is also a cause of worry. Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are also showing an increase in daily cases, the central official had said on February 23.

The national capital recorded 145 fresh COVID-19 cases and two new fatalities on February 23, while the positivity rate stood at 0.25 percent, authorities said. With this, the toll from the coronavirus infection has reached 10,903 and the case tally rose to 6,38,173.

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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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Earlier, the Karnataka government mandated a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours for those arriving in the state by flights, buses, trains and personal transport from Maharashtra, following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases there. The report shall be verified at the time of boarding by airline staff, a circular issued by the Additional Chief Secretary Department of Health and Family Welfare Jawaid Akhtar said.

The Maharashtra government has also made the RT-PCR test mandatory for travellers from Kerala, which has been reporting a high number of COVID-19 cases, to check the spread of the viral infection in the western state, according to an official.

The COVID-19 tally in Kerala reached 10,41,252 with 4,034 new cases reported on February 23. The death toll increased to 4,119 with 14 fresh fatalities. Health Minister KK Shailaja said 69,604 samples were tested in the state in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 5.80 percent.

Meanwhile, 4,823 people recovered from the infection on the day taking the total number of cured in the state to 9,81,835. Currently, there are 54,665 people under treatment in Kerala.

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.

(With inputs from PTI)
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