Hundreds of Indian students, stranded in the Philippines, can fly back to India when the temporary travel ban is lifted, the Indian embassy here said on March 26, assuring all possible help to the distressed citizens.
On March 17, the Indian government banned the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, the Philippines and Malaysia to India with immediate effect amid stepped up efforts against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
"Embassy is in regular contact with students in Perpetual Help. Shops & essential stores in area open. Indian restaurants are ready to deliver. 16,000 Indian students in Philippines are advised- can travel to India when temporary ban is lifted. Emergency no. 09477836524," the embassy said in a tweet.
Amid rising cases of COVID-19, India last week banned the landing of all international commercial passenger flights from March 22 to 29 while asking the Civil Aviation ministry and Railways to suspend all concessional travel on flights and trains, except for students, patients and disabled people.
Over 40 people have died from the novel coronavirus disease in the Philippines and the country has recorded more than 700 infections, according to worldometer, a website that tacks the number of global deaths due to COVID-19.
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.