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COVID-19 in Delhi: 3.7 lakh surveyed, first time RT-PCR tests more than antigen tests

The rising coronavirus cases in Delhi were attributed to the festive season, non-compliance of the COVID-19 safety behaviour and rising pollution in the city.
Nov 22, 2020 / 11:52 AM IST
File image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
File image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

For the first time, the number of RT-PCR tests in Delhi has exceeded the number of rapid antigen tests, while over 3.7 lakh people have been surveyed as part of the efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus in the national capital, the Union Home Ministry said on Sunday.

Amid the spurt in coronavirus cases in Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took the lead in ramping up medical infrastructure and formulating a new strategy to combat the COVID-19 surge in the national capital.

"For the first time, the number of RT-PCR tests in Delhi have exceeded the rapid antigen tests," a spokesperson of the Home Ministry said. According to sources, the number of real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests in the city surpassed the number of rapid antigen tests on Friday.

A total of 250 ventilators have been delivered to the DRDO hospital and are being installed. The house-to-house survey, as directed by Shah, has started in Delhi and till Friday, 3,70,729 people have been surveyed.

AIIMS has also started the process for recruitment of additional 207 Junior Resident doctors, the spokesperson said. The actions come in the wake of 12 decisions taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Shah on November 15 after Delhi saw fresh spike in COVID-19 cases.

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 spurt in coronavirus cases in Delhi has been witnessed since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11. Delhi recorded 5,879 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday and a positivity rate of 12.90 per cent, while 111 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,270.

The rising coronavirus cases in Delhi were attributed to the festive season, non-compliance of the COVID-19 safety behaviour and rising pollution in the city.
PTI
first published: Nov 22, 2020 11:52 am

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