International flights: The Centre started the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ on May 6 to help those stranded due to the novel coronavirus pandemic reach their destinations via international repatriation flights.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, 5,396 repatriation flights were operated by the Air India Group under the Vande Bharat Mission till September 19, carrying over 7.809 lakh passengers. Of these, 2,700 were inbound flights carrying 4,68,280 passengers and 2,696 were outbound flights with 2,40,967 fliers.
The mission is currently in its Phase 6 which will continue until October 31.
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.
Here is the repatriation international flights schedule for September 21:
Air India repatriation schedule for September 21: Ex-India to foreign stations (in local time)> AI 1929: Delhi (00.15) to Dubai
> AI 0951: Hyderabad (22.30) to Dubai
Air India repatriation schedule for September 21: Ex-foreign stations to India (in local time)> AI 1930: Dubai to Lucknow (8.45)
> AI 1926: Riyadh to Mumbai (16.45)
Air India Express repatriation schedule for September 21: Ex-foreign stations to India (in local time)> IX 1384: Dubai (10:30) to Mangaluru (17:15)
> IX 1694: Kuwait (14:00) to Chennai (21:45)
Air India Express repatriation schedule for September 21: Ex-India to foreign stations (in local time)> IX 1383: Mangaluru (7:40) to Dubai (9:30)
> IX 1693: Chennai (10:10) to Kuwait (13:00)Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic