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Coronavirus pandemic update March 31: Global death toll crosses 33,000; China reports 48 new cases

Globally, 33,257 deaths and 697,244 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, according to the WHO's situation dashboard.

March 31, 2020 / 10:24 AM IST

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the global death toll due to the novel coronavirus had crossed 33,000.

Globally, 33,257 deaths and 697,244 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, according to the WHO's situation dashboard.

The dashboard was last updated at 6 pm Central European Time (CET) on March 30.

"No new countries/territories/areas reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours," the WHO said in its daily situation report.

The report cited data from national governments as of 10 am CET on March 30.

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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In India, 1,251 cases and 32 deaths have been reported so far, according to the health ministry.

On March 30, 227 new cases were reported, the biggest single day spike seen in India. The highest number of cases were reported from Delhi, which saw 25 new cases.

China, where the outbreak began, reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 on March 30 after four days of declines. All the cases were imported, raising the total number of imported cases in the country to 771.

The US, Italy, and Spain now have higher number of infections than China. The US has reported over 160,000 cases of COVID-19 and a death toll of over 3,000.

"We call on countries to work with companies to increase production; to ensure the free movement of essential health products; and to ensure equitable distribution of those products, based on need," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on March 30.

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first published: Mar 31, 2020 08:13 am