The Centre is expected to release detailed 'Unlock 3.0' guidelines in the coming days and could give states and Union Territories more authority in deciding internal rules.
The Centre is considering requests to permit cinema halls and gyms to reopen as part of the ‘Unlock 3.0’ phase which is slated to begin on August 1, news reports suggest.
These establishments would have to follow strict social distancing and other safety protocols amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Schools, colleges and educational institutions will not be allowed to reopen yet. They would be advised to continue with online classes, reports add. Metro rail services are also likely to remain suspended for August.
Earlier, an association of cinema halls had urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to allow theatres to function with 25-30 percent capacity.
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.
The government is expected to issue detailed guidelines for Unlock 3.0 in the days to come.
Reports suggest that states and Union Territory administrations could be given more authority in deciding their own guidelines based on the situation in there. Multiple states, or at least some areas within, continue to remain under lockdown due to spike in cases.
This phase of reopening will be watched closely as it comes at a time when COVID-19 cases being reported in India are scaling new highs. On July 27, India reported nearly 50,000 COVID-19 cases in the 24-hour period. The country has so far reported a total of 14.8 lakh confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 33,425 deaths. While 9.5 lakh patients have recovered, 4.9 lakh cases are still categorised as ‘active’.
India is the third most-affected country in the world following the United States and Brazil.
While centres like Delhi and Mumbai, which were once considered the largest hotspots, have shown clear signs of flattening the curve of infections, cases are rapidly rising in states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic