West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked officials concerned to review the overall COVID-19 situation in the state, amid the threat of a possible third wave of the pandemic looming large.
She asked the officials to identify containment zones in the city, where cases have been on the rise.
Banerjee, during an administrative review meeting at Sagar Island, also said that schools and colleges might be shut down for some time if the situation so demands. Offices could be asked to function with just 50 per cent employee attendance, if necessary, she stated.
"COVID-19 cases are on the rise… there are a few Omicron cases also. So, review the situation in the state. We may consider closing down schools and colleges for some time," Banerjee told officials at the meeting.
The CM, who is visiting the island to take stock of the arrangements for the annual Gangasagar mela, also said that a decision on international flight and local train services will also be taken after the COVID-19 situation is reviewed in the state.
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.