Fresh lockdown will be imposed in Maharashtra only if the demand for medical oxygen touches 800 metric tons per day, public health minister Rajesh Tope said on December 25.
His statement came a day after the Maharashtra government banned the assembly of more than five persons in public places between 9 pm to 6 am and restricted the number of people allowed at public functions in view of a spurt in coronavirus cases.
Omicron cases were increasing "rapidly", but in general such patients were not ending up in ICU nor did they need supplementary oxygen, Tope said, speaking to reporters in Jalna.
"There will be statewide lockdown only if the demand for medical oxygen rises to 800 metric tons (per day)," he added.
The minister did not mention the current rate of consumption of medical oxygen in the state. We do not want people to face more restrictions, therefore I am making an appeal to people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. Wearing a mask is very important, he said.
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.