India’s novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, death toll breached the grim mark of 1.2 lakh deaths, with 43,893 fresh cases pushed the overall tally to 79,90,322 as on October 28, health ministry data showed. In the last 24 hours, 508 succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 120,054 as per the latest data.
As many as 72,01,070 people recovered from COVID-19 as the total count of active cases remains at 6,25,857.
The latest development comes a day after India reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 infections since mid-July, taking its tally to 79.46 lakh, government data showed.
July 18 was the last time India reported less than 36,000 cases. Continuing with the declining trend in new cases, the country recorded an average 55,000 daily COVID-19 cases last week against the weekly average of 90,000 during the peak in September, data shows.
The weekly average of one-day tally has since dropped consistently and sharply to 45,000 at present from about 80,000 in early October, NDTV reported.
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.