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Government makes vehicle location tracking essential for oxygen containers

The road ministry said that GPS tracking will ensure that there is no diversion or delay in delivering oxygen tankers, which have been in high demand across the country due to the outbreak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 04, 2021 / 03:07 PM IST

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on May 4 said it has made it compulsory for oxygen containers, tankers and vehicles to be fitted with vehicle location tracking devices.

The road ministry in a press release said that for proper monitoring and protection of these oxygen tankers, Global Positioning System or GPS tracking is a necessity.

The ministry also said that GPS tracking will ensure that there is no diversion or delay in delivering oxygen tankers, which have been in high demand across the country due to the outbreak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospitals across the country are grappling with severe oxygen shortages and many patients have succumbed due to a lack of oxygen.

The country is battling a severe second wave of coronavirus infections, with over 300,000 new cases every day for the past 13 days.

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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.

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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 ministry said that given the current pandemic situation in the country, the need for supply of oxygen to the health centres and hospitals has become essential.

On May 4, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India rose to 2.028 crore as of 0800 IST today, with 357,229 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, according to health ministry data.

The number of active cases rose by 33,491 in the past 24 hours. The total number of active cases now stands at 34.47 lakhs.

So far, the virus has claimed 222,408 lives, while 1.66 crore people have recovered. The total number of people who have been vaccinated reached 15.89 crore.
Yaruqhullah Khan
first published: May 4, 2021 03:07 pm

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