Top News

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2020 13:30 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Aug 05, 2020 07:54 [IST]

Do it all

The road to normality would be long and trying. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned that despite hope for "effective vaccines" for the coronavirus, there might never be a silver bullet for the Covid-19.
A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be. For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control, read an official statement by WHO Director-General TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus.
Globally, 18,102,671 people have been infected with the disease and 689,625 have died, with the US, Brazil and India being the worst three hit.
The WHO Director-General and WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan urged all nations to rigorously enforce health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and testing. The message to people and governments is clear: Do it all. For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control. Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all. Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all. For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Face masks should become a symbol of solidarity round the world.
And when it’s under control, keep going. Keep strengthening the health system. Keep improving surveillance, contact tracing and ensure disrupted health services are restarted as quickly as possible. Keep safeguards and monitoring in place, because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to a resurgence. Keep investing in the workforce and communicating and engaging communities.
Phase three testing is designed to see if a vaccine candidate actually prevents disease. WHO reports that as of July 31, six vaccine candidates are in phase three. Last week, the vaccine candidate made by the U.S. biotech company Moderna and developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health entered phase three of testing. Up to 30,000 volunteers will be assigned to one of two groups. One group will receive two injections spaced approximately 28 days apart of mRNA-1273, as the vaccine is known. The other group will receive an injection containing only salt water. Neither the volunteer nor the person administering the injection will know what's in the syringe in order to avoid bias in favour of one outcome or another. Of course, people running the trial will know who is getting what. Researchers will then monitor both groups to see who, if any, gets sick.
So far, six vaccine candidates have joined Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's push to have a coronavirus vaccine widely available by early 2021. Not all the candidates in Operation Warp Speed have reached phase three. More than 250,000 people have already registered their interest in participating in clinical trials, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist said last week.
Until the vaccine trials start to show actual results, we need to just do it all. For our own sake.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi