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Ajit Pawar, Devendra Fadnavis together at inauguration of COVID hospital in Pune

The two had famously come together on November 23 last year when Fadnavis was sworn in as chief minister and Pawar as his deputy in a hush-hush early morning ceremony.

August 28, 2020 / 09:43 PM IST

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis were seen together at the inauguration of a COVID-19 hospital in Baner area in Pune on August 28. The two had famously come together on November 23 last year when Fadnavis was sworn in as chief minister and Pawar as his deputy in a hush-hush early morning ceremony.

Pawar, an NCP stalwart, broke ranks to join the BJP leader to form government after the saffron party fell out with the Shiv Sena, but their government lasted only 80 hours as they could not muster the numbers.

On August 28, Pawar and Fadnavis stood side by side and addressed the gathering in Baner, though they painted different pictures of the coronavirus situation in the state. Pawar, who is also guardian minister for Pune district, said in the last few days 2,200 hospital beds have been added for treatment of coronavirus patients in the city and neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad.

Referring to the phase 3 human trial of the 'Oxford vaccine' which began in Pune earlier this week, he expressed confidence that soon there will be "affirmative picture in the state and country".

Fadnavis pointed out that every day on average 15,000 new cases are being reported in Maharashtra.


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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"The main concern is that the positivity rate of the infection is still 19 to 19.5 percent. As per the ICMR, it should be 5 percent and where there is high infection (rate), it should be 10 percent," he said.

The BJP leader also said that the state accounts for nearly 40 per cent of coronavirus deaths in the country.

"Since our current death rate is still 3.2 percent which is above the national average, it is a matter of concern," Fadnavis said.

State BJP chief and Kothrud MLA Chandrakant Patil and Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol were also present.
first published: Aug 28, 2020 05:39 pm
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