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Kerala logs 4,034 fresh COVID-19 cases, 14 deaths push toll to 4,119

Health Minister K K Shailaja said 69,604 samples were tested in the state in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 5.80 percent.

February 23, 2021 / 08:17 PM IST
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Kerala reported 4,034 new COVID-19 cases and 14 related deaths on Tuesday taking the tally of affected in the state to 10,41,252 and the toll to 4,119.

Health Minister K K Shailaja said 69,604 samples were tested in the state in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 5.80 percent.

The state has tested1,11,37,843 samples so far.

Shailaja said a 72-year old person was found infected with the new strain of the virus from the UK.

"The 72-year-old is the contact of a Kozhikode native, a UK returnee, who was earlier tested positive with the new strain. With these a total of 11 persons have been found positive with the new strain till now," Minister said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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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.

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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.

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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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She said out of those affected on Tuesday, 81 reached the state from outside while 3,674 contracted the disease through their contacts.

"The sources of infection of 258 are yet to be traced. As many as 21 health workers are also among the infected," the Minister said in a release.

Among the districts, Ernakulam reported the highest number of cases--484, followed by Pathanamthitta (430) and Kollam (408).

Meanwhile, 4,823 people recovered from the infection on Tuesday taking the total number of cured in the state to 9,81,835.

Currently, there are 54,665 people under treatment in the state.

There are 2,35,225 under observation in the state, out of which 8,083 are in isolation wards of various hospitals.

Four new regions were added and four regions were removed from the list of hotspots taking its total number to 372.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Feb 23, 2021 08:15 pm

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