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Coronavirus pandemic | Indian table tennis player stuck in Spain due to COVID-19

Takeme Sarkar had gone to compete in the Spanish League in Malaga, about 12 kilometres from capital Madrid.

March 26, 2020 / 05:46 PM IST

Indian paddler Takeme Sarkar left for Malaga hoping to play in the Spanish League and gain some experience, but now finds herself quarantined in an apartment there after suspension of airline operations owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She had gone to compete in the Spanish League in Malaga, about 12 kilometres from capital Madrid.

The 14th ranked India player, who hails from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, was slated to return on March 24.

"I'm safe and doing fine in my area, my club members are very supportive, they are providing food everything," the 28-year-old said in an audio message.

"I'm also happy to receive support from back home in India, my coach and association officials are in constant touch. I've got another ticket for May 11, and hopefully, the situation will become normal by then, and I will return," she added.

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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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Takeme, along with Sagarika Mukherjee and Moumita Dutta, are the reigning national champions.

"I'm staying put at home the whole day and cooking myself. Three other Japanese girls are also here with me," she said from Spain.

The unprecedented health crisis has led to either cancellation or postponement of all upcoming sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics and football's European championships.

The pandemic has so far claimed over 20,000 lives while infecting lakhs of people across the world, with Spain being one of the most worst affected countries.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 26, 2020 05:46 pm

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