The lockdown-like-restrictions in Maharashtra on account of the coronavirus pandemic have been extended by 15 days but a fresh set of guidelines will be issued on June 1, health minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.
The state cabinet had taken the decision to extend the curbs on people's movement and businesses -- in force since mid-April -- in a meeting on Thursday.
"As far as lockdown is concerned, 15 days' extension has been given, but the guidelines related to it will be issued on June 1," Tope told reporters here.
No relaxation will be given in the areas where the number of patients and positivity rate are still high and hospital bed availability is an issue, he said.
"But in the areas where the situation has improved, certain guidelines (easing the curbs) can be issued," he added.
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.
Asked if shops selling non-essential commodities will be allowed to open, he said all such decisions will be taken on June 1.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said the restrictions will continue after June 1, and will be relaxed later in a phased manner.
"In 10 to 15 districts, the positivity rate is still very high. Besides, there is threat of the black fungus infection (found in recovering/recovered coronavirus patients)," the chief minister had noted.