Nationwide lockdown extended till 17 May; 733 hotspots classified | The Background

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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Nationwide lockdown extended till 17 May; 733 hotspots classified

More than 90 vaccines for the coronavirus are at various stages of development, at least six are being tested for safety in people

 The Background:

The nationwide lockdown in India has been extended by a further two weeks after May 4. However, under this broad umbrella policy, there will be some relaxations, based on the classification of the country’s 733 districts into Red Zones (hotspots) where all restrictions will continue, and Green and Orange Zones where there will be considerable relaxations.

“After a comprehensive review, and in view of the lockdown measures having led to significant gains in the COVID-19 situation in the country, we are extending the lockdown for a further period of two weeks effective May 4,” said an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

In all zones, the Home Ministry said, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. The MHA order further stated that movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am.

The most sensitive areas of the country (where threat of rapid COVID-19 spread is highest) that fall within the Red and Orange Zones have been designated as Containment Zones.

The Railway Ministry, as per the direction, has decided to run ‘Shramik Special’ trains to move persons stranded at different places, from point to point, on the request of the concerned State Governments. “The Railways will endeavour to ensure social distancing norms and hygiene with the cooperation of passengers. On longer routes, the Railways will provide a meal en route during the journey,” it added.

Meanwhile, there is a growing concern over the dire hunger situation of the country. People needs relief at this moment.

The number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 36,947 and the death toll is 1223. Across the world confirmed COVID-19 cases 3,321,402. Number of death due to it is 237,180.

A report released by a group of experts from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), University of Minnesota, says the global COVID-19 outbreak is likely to last for 18 to 24 months. “It likely won’t be halted until 60% to 70% of the [world] population is immune,” said the report, which also noted, “Because of a longer incubation period, more asymptomatic spread, and a higher R0, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than flu.” Bloomberg reported.

More than 90 vaccines for the coronavirus are at various stages of development, and at least six are being tested for safety in people. Now, developers, funders and other stakeholders are laying the groundwork for their biggest challenge yet: determining which vaccines actually work. The World Health Organization has proposed an adaptive trial design that allows vaccines to be added and dropped on an ongoing basis. The agency still has to work out which vaccines to test first, and how to convince drug developers to have their products pitted against each other.

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