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All visitors must undergo thermal scanning per Uttar Pradesh’s new travel guidelines

The UP government has ordered all railway and bus stations to deploy a medical team to ramp up COVID-19 testing.

December 02, 2021 / 01:54 PM IST
 (Image: AFP)

(Image: AFP)


Uttar Pradesh has joined the league of states to introduce fresh restrictions in the wake of growing threat from the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

According to the guidelines issued on December 2, all travellers coming into Uttar Pradesh will have to undergo thermal scanning, while those coming from ‘at-risk’ countries will be sent to a designated isolation centre if they test positive for COVID-19.

The guidelines also state that samples of those testing positive from ‘at-risk’ countries will be sent for genome sequencing to determine if they are infected with the highly mutated Omicron variant.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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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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Read | Six passengers from 'at-risk' countries admitted to LNJP, samples sent for genome sequencing

“All positive travellers will be sent for treatment at a government facility and their contact tracing will be done,” it said.

The state government has also ordered all railway and bus stations to deploy medical teams to ramp up COVID-19 testing.

India has so far not reported a confirmed case of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, six people who flew into Delhi from ‘at-risk’ countries, including the UK and the Netherlands, have been admitted to the Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi after four of them tested positive for COVID-19 and two showed symptoms.

Also read | US announces first Omicron case in traveler returning from South Africa

Their samples have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control for genome sequencing to ascertain if they carry the Omicron variant.

Travellers from ‘at-risk’ countries are following additional measures on arrival in India from midnight.

Under the new norms, RT-PCR tests are mandatory for passengers arriving from the ‘at-risk’ countries and they will be allowed to leave the airport only after the results come.

Also, 5 percent of the passengers flying down from other countries will be subject to the test randomly.

Also read | Very large number of Indians may be protected from Omicron: Eminent virologist Shahid Jameel
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 2, 2021 01:00 pm

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