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New COVID-19 Variant: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal urges PM Modi to stop flights from Omicron-affected nations

The new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, first detected in South Africa this week, has been designated as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organisation, which named it Omicron.

November 28, 2021 / 02:23 PM IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately stop flights from the countries which are affected by the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. (File image)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately stop flights from the countries which are affected by the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. (File image)


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 28 urging him to immediately stop flights from the countries which are affected by the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Sharing the letter to the PM, Kejriwal said of Twitter, “I have requested Hon’ble PM to immediately stop flights from those countries which are affected by new variant. Any delay could be very harmful.”

In the letter, the chief minister said, “Our country has fought a tough fight against corona for the last one and half years. With great difficulty and due to the selfless service of millions of our COVID warriors, our country has recovered from corona.”

“We should do everything possible to prevent the new variant of concern, recently recognised by WHO, from entering India. A number of countries including European Union, have suspended travel to the affected regions. I urge you to stop flights from these regions with immediate effect. Any delay in this regard may prove harmful, if any affected person enters India,” Kejriwal said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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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The new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, first detected in South Africa this week, was designated as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on November 26, which named it Omicron.

Also read | New COVID variant: Delhi L-G instructs officers to prepare for any emergency

Amid rising global concerns over the new coronavirus strain, PM Modi chaired an important meeting on November 27. The meeting was being attended by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, P K Mishra, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul among others.

Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar announced on November 27 that passengers arriving at Mumbai airport from South Africa will be quarantined after Omicron was identified in the country. Genome sequencing of passengers will also be done if they are found COVID-19 positive, she said.
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first published: Nov 28, 2021 02:23 pm
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