Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said the national capital has not reported any case of Delta plus variant of COVID-19 so far, adding that there is no communication from the Centre to make any special arrangement to deal with it.
He said a genome sequencing lab to detect the variants of coronavirus will become operational at Lok Nayak Hospital within a week.
Another such lab is being created at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, he said.
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.
"There are several variants of coronavirus, but there are only two ways to protect yourself against it -- get vaccinated and use masks. There is no separate communication from the Centre to make special preparations for the Delta plus variant. Also, Delhi has not reported any such cases so far," Jain told reporters.
He said the Delhi government is in the process of increasing hospital beds to accommodate 37,000 cases a day in case of a third wave.
The Delhi government has already installed 32 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants with a total capacity of 29.77 metric tonnes (MT).
Three liquid medical oxygen storage tanks with a cumulative capacity of 171 MT have also been installed.
Jain also said the coronavirus situation is under control in Delhi, but appealed to people to continue observing Covid appropriate behaviour.
"The number of cases had reduced significantly in January and February too, and people let their guards down. The experience of the last one-and-a-half-year shows one has to remain vigilant all the time," he added.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.