Further relaxing the COVID-19-related norms, the West Bengal government has permitted cinema halls in the state to reopen from July 31. The seating capacity should not exceed 50 percent, stated an official order issued on July 29.
The cinema hall operators would also be required to comply with all the COVID-related safety protocols, the order added.
Cinema halls across West Bengal were closed since April 30, after the state was hit by a second wave of the pandemic.
Over the past two months, the state government has issued several relaxations in the curbs in view of the dwindling infection rate and active caseload.
Since July 1, gyms, parlours and salons have also been allowed to reopen across the state. Malls, restaurants and eateries were allowed to resume operations in June.
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 per-day coronavirus count in Bengal, which had peaked to above 20,000 in early May, has now dropped below the 700-mark. The state had on July 28 reported 662 new cases, 10 deaths and 882 recoveries in the period of preceeding 24 hours. The tally of active cases dropped to 11,380.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 27, discussed the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to Bengal. Banerjee reportedly sought an increased supply of doses to further accelerate the state's immunisation programme.