Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday directed officials to prepare post-lockdown standard operating procedures (SOPs) for various urban missions, including the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and functioning of metro trains, an official said.
The directions were issued at a meeting chaired by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Puri to review the progress of various urban missions, including Smart Cities Mission, Swachh Bharat, PMAY (Urban) and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), he said.
"Officers presented the latest status of missions and they were asked by the minister to prepare protocols for when the lockdown ends," the official said.
"We don't know whether the lockdown will be extended or not. For instance, if the government decides to not to extend lockdown, the ministry should have prepared SOPs in details," he added.
"The ministry should be ready to start work being executed under missions when the lockdown ends," the official 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.
A nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which has now been extended till May 3.
After the meeting, Puri tweeted, "Reviewed the progress of urban flagship missions with secretary & senior officers of @MoHUA_India."
"Happy to note that the missions are also contributing extensively towards #COVID19 related work along with their normal work & implementation of projects," he said.
Taking to Twitter, Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said 229 projects worth more than Rs 27,000 crore have started or restarted under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) with available local manpower in 10 states.
Mishra also said all the prescribed precautions for fighting COVID-19 are being observed, adding that this will provide livelihood opportunities to those who have lost their jobs temporarily.
Also read: Coronavirus News India LIVE Updates