Have you been stranded outside India because of the global lockdowns initiated to contain COVID-19? Government of India finally has a plan to get you back home. There are, however, some riders.
The government, in a statement, said the process will begin from May 7 and travel will be arranged by aircraft and naval ships. It said, the returns will be facilitated on "compelling grounds" in a phased manner.
It said, "Indian Embassies and High Commissions are preparing a list of distressed Indian citizens. This facility would be made available on payment-basis. Non-scheduled commercial flights would be arranged for air travel."
The statement further said, "Medical screening of passengers would be done before taking the flight. Only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel."
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.