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Budget 2021

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Moneycontrol

Budget 2021

Associate Partners:

  • SMCSamsungVolvo
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China sees biggest COVID-19 spike in over five months, four cities in lockdown

Most of the new patients were reported near the capital Beijing, but a province in northeast China also saw a rise in new cases, official data showed on Wednesday, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people under home quarantine.

January 13, 2021 / 09:15 AM IST
Rank 2 | China | 2020 brand value: $18,764 billion | Fall in brand value: 3.7 percent (Image: Reuters)

Rank 2 | China | 2020 brand value: $18,764 billion | Fall in brand value: 3.7 percent (Image: Reuters)

China has recorded the biggest daily jump in COVID cases in more than five months, despite four cities in lockdown, increased testing and other measures aimed at preventing another wave of infections in the world's second biggest economy.

Most of the new patients were reported near the capital Beijing, but a province in northeast China also saw a rise in new cases, official data showed on Wednesday, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people under home quarantine.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that a total of 115 new confirmed cases were reported in the mainland compared with 55 a day earlier. This was the highest daily increase since July 30.

The commission said 107 of the new cases were local infections. Hebei, the province that surrounds Beijing, accounted for 90 of the cases, while northeastern Heilongjiang province reported 16 new cases.

Hebei has put three cities - Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang - into lockdown as part of the efforts to keep the virus from spreading further, while Beijing city authorities have stepped up screening and prevention measures to prevent another cluster from developing there.

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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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Heilongjiang province on Wednesday declared a COVID-19 emergency. The city of Suihua, which borders the provincial capital Harbin, put its 5.2 million people under lockdown.

Most of the cases in Heilongjiang have been found in Wangkui county, under Suihua's jurisdiction, which had already been put into a lockdown earlier this week.

China's state planning agency has said it expects travel during next month's Lunar New Year period to be markedly lower than normal, with a bigger share of people taking cars instead of other forms of transportation. Many provinces have asked migrant workers to refrain from traveling during the break.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 38 from 81 cases a day earlier. Seven of those were reported in Jilin, another northeastern provicne that borders Heilongjiang, underscoring the risk of transmission into differnet parts of the country.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 87,706, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.
Reuters
first published: Jan 13, 2021 09:09 am

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