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Follow COVID-appropriate behaviour to avoid lockdown: Maharashtra CM to people amid concerns over new strain

"Saying 'kuch nahi hota yaar' (nothing will happen) won’t do at all," he said. Speaking virtually during a meeting of divisional commissioners and district collectors to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the threat of the new strain, Thackeray, who is recuperating at a city hospital following a spine surgery, said Maharashtra had tackled both the COVID-19 waves well.

November 29, 2021 / 08:04 AM IST
Uddhav Thackeray in a virtual meeting with the industry leaders (Image: Twitter/@CMO)

Uddhav Thackeray in a virtual meeting with the industry leaders (Image: Twitter/@CMO)

Asking people not to lower their guard against coronavirus in view of the new Omicron variant detected in South Africa, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the state cannot afford to have another lockdown and in order to avoid it, everyone must follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.

He also asked the state authorities to take necessary steps on a war footing to protect citizens from the new variant without waiting for the Centre’s directives in this regard.

"Saying 'kuch nahi hota yaar' (nothing will happen) won’t do at all," he said. Speaking virtually during a meeting of divisional commissioners and district collectors to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the threat of the new strain, Thackeray, who is recuperating at a city hospital following a spine surgery, said Maharashtra had tackled both the COVID-19 waves well.

"The challenge of the new variant Omicron and its severity will also have to be tackled by the administration in Mumbai and rest of the state. If the virus spreads again, we can’t afford steps like a lockdown. If that is to be avoided, COVID-appropriate behaviour is a must. Regular use of face mask, avoiding crowd, maintaining physical distancing, have to be followed," he said.

The process of vaccinating people needs to be expedited and international as well as domestic air travellers need to be monitored, he said. "Steps should be taken up on a war footing without waiting for the central government’s directives," the chief minister told the authorities, while also asking them to take action against those who violate the COVID-19 safety 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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Thackeray also called for carrying out fire audit of hospitals, and ensuring availability of medical oxygen and medicines in the state. Members of the state COVID task force also took part in the meeting.
PTI
first published: Nov 29, 2021 08:05 am
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