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UN agencies delivered nearly 10,000 oxygen concentrators, 10 million medical masks to India

In India, the UN team on the ground continues to support the authorities both nationally and locally to tackle the pandemic, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at the daily press briefing on Thursday.

May 07, 2021 / 10:08 AM IST
Home isolation COVID-19 patients in Delhi can apply for oxygen on government website

Home isolation COVID-19 patients in Delhi can apply for oxygen on government website

Several United Nations agencies have delivered nearly 10,000 oxygen concentrators and about 10 million medical masks to India to support national and local governments to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the spokesman for the UN chief.

In India, the UN team on the ground continues to support the authorities both nationally and locally to tackle the pandemic, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at the daily press briefing on Thursday.

He said UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) have delivered nearly 10,000 oxygen concentrators, nearly 10 million medical masks and more than 1.5 million face shields. The UN team has also purchased ventilators and oxygen-generating plants.

UNICEF is also providing cold chain equipment for COVID-19 vaccines.

Our team has also delivered testing machines and kits, as well as airport thermal scanners, he said adding that WHO is also providing tents and beds for temporary health facilities and the agency has deployed thousands of public health specialists to help address the pandemic.

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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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UNICEF and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) are also helping to monitor more than 175,000 vaccination centres across India.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore had earlier cautioned that the tragic" COVID-19 situation in India should raise alarm bells for all of us. Unless the world steps up and helps India now, there will be reverberations across the region and the world in terms of virus-related deaths, virus mutations and supply delays.

India is in the midst of a raging second wave of COVID-19 and is recording over 400,000 daily coronavirus infections and over 3,000 deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India has a total of over 20.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 226,000 deaths.

Countries across the South Asia region are witnessing rises in infections, with India accounting for over 90 per cent of both cases and deaths in the region, according to the World Health Organization.

India also accounted for 46 per cent of global cases and 25 per cent of global deaths reported in the past week, WHO has said.

UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia George Laryea-Adjei had said in a statement that urgent action and steadfast leadership are indispensable to stop the catastrophe.
PTI
first published: May 7, 2021 10:02 am

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