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g20 FMs Meet | Nirmala Sitharaman Highlights India's Measures To Mitigate COVID-19 Impact

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted at the G20 meet that India’s special economic stimulus packages announced till date amount to 15 percent of the country’s GDP.

Nov 20, 2020 / 10:50 PM IST

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasised the need for further efforts by the G20 countries to end the COVID-19 crisis and highlighted affordability as well as the accessibility of vaccines for all as a crucial step in this direction at the G20 finance ministers' virtual meeting held on November 20.

An official statement released by the Union Finance Ministry stated: “The finance minister emphasised the need for further efforts by the G20 members to end the crisis and highlighted affordability and accessibility of vaccines for all as a crucial step in this direction.”

Sitharaman further highlighted that India’s special economic stimulus packages announced till date amount to 15 percent of the country’s GDP, and the package announced last week has a special focus on job creation.

She went on to point out that the G20 Action Plan is the mainstay of the G20’s economic response, which not only coordinates immediate response but also guides the long-term recovery efforts.

Highlighting the Debt Service Suspension Initiative as an important outcome under the G20 Saudi Arabian Presidency, Sitharaman stressed the need for collective and coordinated efforts by all G20 members to achieve the goals.

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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 finance ministers of the G20 countries – which is a grouping of developing and developed nations -- gathered to discuss their views on the global economic outlook and downside risks in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

In April 2020, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors had published an Action Plan for the international response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Action Plan covers healthcare, economic and fiscal responses that G20 members have agreed to undertake, as well as measures to ensure a return to a strong and sustainable global economy, the provision of support to countries in need, and the learning of lessons in preparation for future crises.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here

With agency inputs.
Moneycontrol News

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