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Coronavirus pandemic | Nearly 80% of Maharashtra’s COVID-19 cases reported in May

As per health department figures, Maharashtra reported its highest single-day death toll on May 26 at 97, taking the total coronavirus deaths to 1,792.

May 27, 2020 / 06:30 PM IST

Maharashtra – the state worst hit by the novel coronavirus – accounts for one-third of India’s total COVID-19 tally approximately. It continues to report the maximum number of new cases and deaths daily and is the only Indian state to have breached the 50,000-mark.

Of these, more than 80 percent of the total cases were reported in the month of May alone, including the 25,913 fresh cases in Mumbai. Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally crossed 25,000 on May 13 and breached the 40,000-mark in the next week; the number of cases crossed 50,000 on May 24, in just one day. On April 30, the total COVID-19 tally had just breached the 10,000-mark.

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As per health department figures, Maharashtra reported its highest single-day death toll on May 26 at 97, taking the total coronavirus deaths to 1,792. Of these 97 deaths, 39 were reported from Mumbai, 15 from Thane, 10 from Kalyan Dombivali, eight from Pune, seven from Solapur, five each from Aurangabad and Mira-Bhayandar, three each from Malegaon and Ulhasnagar, and one each from Ratnagiri and Nagpur City.

Mumbai, which is the country’s worst-affected city with over 32,000 COVID-19 positive cases, has seen a drop in the number of fresh cases being reported in the past two days. However, the daily tally has remained consistently above 1,000 cases for the past 14 days, despite strict lockdown measures being in place across Mumbai.

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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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Ajoy Mehta, the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, has informed that the government is looking at introducing more relaxations to the lockdown norms, despite expecting a surge in the number of coronavirus cases the moment the curbs are lifted, reported the Hindustan Times.

He said: “There will be a surge in the positive cases after relaxations are introduced. We are planning to ease out the restrictions in a phased and calibrated manner to avoid a sudden spike in cases. Meanwhile, the health infrastructure is being ramped up to ensure we are prepared for any eventuality.”

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Moneycontrol News
first published: May 27, 2020 06:30 pm

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