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Things getting better in Mumbai, all for reopening the city: BMC chief

He cautioned, however, that things are "different" in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and the high number of cases there is a "cause for worry".

July 30, 2020 / 06:56 PM IST

Things are getting better in Mumbai and the financial capital is in a position where everything can be opened up, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Iqbal Chahal said in an interview with news channel CNBC-TV18.

"Active cases in Mumbai have decreased to 20,000 as on July 30. The doubling days have increased to 72 days from 41 on June 30. We have only 5,000 symptomatic patients (in Mumbai) today," Chahal said, adding that he is "all for reopening Mumbai".

"We are in a position where we can open up everything in Mumbai region... All 4,000 BEST buses are on the road and running at full capacity. We want to reassure... that we are comfortable in fight against COVID-19," the civic body chief said, adding that the city's administration is "very well prepared" even if there is a second wave of infections in the city.

"We should bury the word lockdown. We don't want to come back to lockdown ever again," Chahal told the news channel. He cautioned, however, that things are "different" in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and the high number of cases there is a "cause for worry".

Regarding the sero-survey, Chahal said that the virus has now moved from "slums to buildings" and that 57 percent of the population living in slums was found to have COVID-19 antibodies.

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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.

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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Chahal, however, added that the city is entering a "new Coronavirus normal" and that people need to be "socially disciplined".
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 30, 2020 06:56 pm

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