In view of the rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, CM Uddhav Thackeray has called for a meeting of the COVID task force on June 2.
This comes after the state on June 1 recorded 1,081 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise after February 24. Maharashtra had reported 1,124 cases on February 24.
Of these, the state’s capital Mumbai added 739 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise after February 4, but no fatalities, as per the bulletin issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
With the spike in daily infections, the number of active cases has jumped close to 3,000 and the number of beds occupied also crossed the 100-bed mark after a long gap.
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.
Mumbai’s COVID-19 tally now stands at 10,66,541.
The death toll remained unchanged at 19,566 as no fresh fatality was reported in the last 24 hours.
In another worrying development, the Dharavi slum colony reported 10 fresh COVID-19 cases on June 1, taking the tally of active cases to 37, a civic official said.
Earlier on May 26, Thackeray had appealed to the people of the state not to lower their guard against COVID-19 in view of the rise in cases, and said they should continue to wear face masks to prevent the spread of infection.
Although the number of hospitalisation (on account of coronavirus) is low, everyone should be alert and cautious as the virus has not gone away completely as yet, he had said.
On March 31, Health Minister Rajesh Tope had announced the lifting of mask mandate along with other COVID-19 restrictions in the state from April 2.
“All pandemic-related restrictions including mandatory wearing of mask to be lifted in Maharashtra from April 2,” he had said.Wearing masks will be voluntary from now, but the practice will be encouraged by the state government, especially in crowded and public places, he had said.