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COVID-19: No deaths in Maharashtra due to oxygen shortage, says Rajesh Tope

"There are no deaths in the state due to shortage of medical oxygen. Such deaths may have occurred in other states," Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

July 23, 2021 / 06:23 PM IST
Representative image | Source: AP

Representative image | Source: AP

Maharashtra faced a shortage of medical oxygen but it did not report any COVID-19 death due to it, state health minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.

He was speaking to reporters at the inauguration of a hostel of the National Cold Chain Research Centre.

"There are no deaths in the state due to shortage of medical oxygen. Such deaths may have occurred in other states," he said.

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The Union government had, on Tuesday, told Parliament that no state or Union territory had reported any death due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a statement that had come in for heavy criticism from the opposition as well as health activists.


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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Tope, speaking at the NCCRC hostel inauguration function, said the state was administering around 3.5 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses per day, while it had the capacity to inoculate 10 lakh people per day.

"I will be meeting Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to demand more vaccine doses for Maharashtra and have asked (BJP leader and former chief minister) Devendra Fadnavis to come along," the minister said.

Speaking on reopening of schools, he said the state government will follow Indian Council of Medical Research directives which lay down that educational institutions can resume once teaching and non-teaching staff at a facility are vaccinated.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
first published: Jul 23, 2021 06:20 pm

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