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Olympics 2020: IOA will wait and watch for a month before taking a call on COVID-19 pandemic

"We will wait and watch for 4 to 5 weeks and then come to any decision after consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the sports ministry" - IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.

March 23, 2020 / 11:23 AM IST

The Indian Olympic Association on March 23 said it will "wait and watch" for at least a month before taking any call on the country's Olympic participation after Canada created a flutter by becoming the first nation to pull out of the showpiece if it is held this year.

IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, while talking to PTI, said the body is closely monitoring the fast-evolving situation triggered by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 14,000 and infected over 300,000.

"We will wait and watch for 4 to 5 weeks and then come to any decision after consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the sports ministry" Mehta said.

"The situation is not that bad in our country as compared to other nations" he added.

The July-August Olympics are looking increasingly uncertain of going ahead as scheduled and the IOC had admitted that it would consider all options, including postponement, in four weeks from now.

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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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The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has crossed 350, including seven deaths so far.
PTI
first published: Mar 23, 2020 10:58 am

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