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Coronavirus Pandemic | 56% COVID-19 Cases In West Bengal Are Migrant Workers

The news comes at a time when Bengal’s coronavirus count dipped for the third consecutive day and the patient recovery rate crossed 50 percent for the first time.

Jun 17, 2020 / 07:59 PM IST
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Representative Image

In West Bengal, 56 percent of the people testing positive for the novel coronavirus are migrants who returned from other states. A senior state health department official said on June 17 that 10 out of 100 migrant workers who were tested turned out to be COVID-19 positive.

The official added: “Most of them (migrants testing COVID-19 positive) are asymptomatic and this is making the current situation quite difficult.”

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So far, more than six lakh migrant workers have returned to Bengal by Shramik Special trains and lakhs more have returned by road. As per the state health ministry, several districts in Bengal such as Purulia, Coochbehar and Birbhum were green zones before the stranded migrant workers returned to their natives.

The news comes at a time when Bengal’s coronavirus count dipped for the third consecutive day and the patient recovery rate crossed 50 percent for the first time. More than 6,000 coronavirus patients in West Bengal have recovered already, while the state’s COVID-19 toll is 495 at present. The total COVID-19 tally stands at 11,909, inching towards the 12,000-mark.

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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 latest figures on the state health bulletin revealed that most of the fresh COVID-19 cases were reported from Kolkata, followed by North 24 Parganas and Howrah, respectively. The health department update also revealed that 8,512 coronavirus samples were tested in the last 24 hours, taking Bengal’s total coronavirus test count to 3,51,754.

(With PTI inputs)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 17, 2020 07:59 pm

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