Union minister Nitin Gadkari said India should look at converting the world's "hatred" for China amid the coronavirus pandemic into an economic opportunity for itself by attracting large scale foreign investments.
Interacting with overseas Indian students via video conferencing, the minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways said, "All the world now, they have hatred for China. Is it possible for us to convert it into an opportunity for India."
Referring to the economic package announced by Japan for its businesses exiting China, Gadkari said, "I feel that we should think on that and we will concentrate on it. We will open the Indian scenario for that. We will give the clearances and everything to them and attract foreign investment."
Asked if India can take any action against China incase it is found to have deliberately "suppressed" information on coronavirus, the minister said this was a sensitive subject related with the Ministry of External Affairs and the prime minister, and therefore it will not be appropriate for him to comment on it.
Gadkari said all government departments, particularly the Finance Ministry as well as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), are formulating policies to win the "economic war" post the COVID-19 pandemic and fulfil the prime minister's dream of making India a USD 5 trillion economy.
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.