The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued Unlock 4 guidelines on August 29 for opening up of more activities in the country. Here's what is allowed and what's not:
-Metro rail services will be allowed to function from September 7 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with the MHA. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued for the same.
-Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, effective 21st September 2020. This also includes open air theatres.
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.
-Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
-States and UTs can allow up to 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff to go the schools at a time for online teaching/tele- counselling and related work.
-Students of class 9 and 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on voluntary basis. This can be done to seek guidance and is subject to the consent of parents and guardians.
-Skill or Entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Short-term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other ministries.
-National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted.
-Higher education institutions that have research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/experimental works will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of COVID-19 in the States/ UTs.
-No restrictions on inter and intra-state travel movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements.
What's not allowed
-Schools and colleges will remain shut until September 30.
-Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre), and similar places to remain closed.
-International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by the MHA.-Lockdown shall be implemented strictly in containment zones till September 30.