Friday, September 25, 2020 Clinical trial for COVID- 19 vaccine Editor- in- Chief: Azfar Ashary Executive Editor: Manzar Naqvi Editor: Agha Masood Hussain Resident Editor ( Islamabad): Munawar Naqvi Editor- at- Large: Mohammed Arifeen T he number of vigorous cases of the novel coronavirus Covid- 19 has again started expanding, so in a significant development Pakistan started clinical trials of a vaccine. Trials would be held in different cities and a vaccine prepared in cooperation with China would be used to monitor the development of antibodies. The trial had started from the federal capital. The National Command and Operation Centre announced the launch of phase 3 clinical trials in Pakistan for a possible vaccine developed by China's CanSino Biologics for the coronavirus. Trials for phase 1 and 2 for the vaccine were held in China. Pakistan, under a public- private partnership between the National Institute of Health and CanSino, is among the countries which will carry out phase 3. About 40,000 people will participate in the trial, which is being held in seven countries across the world. Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 of these will be from Pakistan. Initial results of the trial are expected in four to six months. The trial is a significant direction in which Pakistanis would also take part. The whole universe is eagerly looking towards a vaccine right now. There are seven vaccines for which trials are being conducted and the three of them developed in China. In the before clinical phase, the vaccine is tried on animals. This was done in China at the beginning of the year. It was safe and immune response. Phase 1 trial was again conducted in China and its results were satisfactory. In this phase, the safety and efficacy of the vaccine on the human body is observed at. The phase 2 trial was conducted on about 508 people who are acknowledged a trial and the results were found to be satisfactory. The study was published in scientific journals. CanSino vaccine was similar to that of the Oxford vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca. The first trial has been launched and about 8,000 to 10,000 volunteers would be inducted through an official system. A medical examination of the volunteers would be carried out after which the vaccine would be given to them. The NIH would go on with them for a year and the results of the vaccine would be anticipated in approximately three months. The vaccine would be at hand in the market in five to six months once its results were examined and it would be accepted. This is the vaccine that has already been officially approved and is being given to army personnel and policemen in China. About the process of registration as a volunteer, people would have to contact the hospitals conducting the clinical trials. After that people would soon be able to register themselves as volunteers through websites of the National Institute of Health and other hospitals. It is the first- time phase III clinical trial in Pakistan and will be great success if the vaccine is found to be productive transfer the manufacturing technology from China to Pakistan as it will not be likely for any single country to meet the high demand. Pakistan has already installed a plant at NIH as manufacturing of vaccines. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan gave a positive to conducting clinical trials of Covid- 19 vaccine previous month. Three injections of an inactivated virus would be delivered to volunteers during the 56- day trial. The National Data Safety Monitoring Committee will closely see the patients' safety and submit monthly reports. Although vaccines are being prepared in different countries, there cannot be surety whether Pakistan will get them as there will be a high demand across the world. In this context if this trial is successfully accomplished, the vaccine will be easily available to Pakistan at lesser rates. The number of active Covid- 19 cases, which had declined below 7,000 last week, has again rose above 7,000. A start to ensure any future vaccine against COVID- 19 is fairly shared throughout the world has secured the support of 156 countries and territories, comprising about 64 percent of the world population, but the United States and China have not sign up. US COVID- 19 deaths close to 200,000, one in five of world dead. The new vaccine enters into the world in business. Governments from every countries have united to work together, not only to secure vaccines for their own populations, but also to help ensure that vaccines are easily available everywhere. About 64 affluent economies had joined the facility, which targets to bring united both governments and manufacturers to make COVID- 19 vaccines reach those in greatest need wherever they are in the universe. More were expected to join i n the approaching days. The facility will assist to bring the pandemic under check, save costly lives, raise the economic recovery and see that the race for vaccines is cooperation not a competition. The is based on the fact that by collecting financial and scientific resources, participating countries will be able to insure themselves against the bankruptcy of any individual vaccine candidate and secure successful vaccines in a less cost effective way. The US, has also been securing supplies through bilateral deals. COVAX will create the richer countries united with about 92 low- and averageincome economies such as the Philippines and Indonesia, which are suitable for support for the procurement of vaccines through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment a financing device. The COVAX Facility targets to poorer nations like Indonesia, which had suffered in the pandemic, also way to any COVID- 19 vaccine that is successfully developed COVAX aims to develop safe and effective vaccines that can be made available to those members in the scheme, and has so far secured funding commitments of $ 1.4billion. Honorary Advisory Board Tariq Iqbal Khan, FCA Amir Abbas Ashary Sikandar Ali Shah Nuzaira Azam ( U. S. A) Asim Abbas Ashary, CPA Shiraz Ahmed Siddiqui Dr. A. Hadi Shahid, FCA Mubasher Mir M. Zaheer Quindeel Syed Ibne Hassan Head office 111- C, Jami Commercial Street 11, Phase VII, DHA Karachi Telephone: 92- 21- 35311893- 6 Fax: 92- 21- 35388428 URL: www. thefinancialdaily. com Email Address: editor@ thefinancialdaily. com Lahore office 24- Peshawar Block, Fortress Stadium, Lahore Telephone: 92- 42- 6675595 Fax: 92- 42- 6664349 Email Address: editor@ thefinancialdaily. com Disclaimer: All reports and recommendations have been prepared for your information only. Summary and Analysis are not recom mendation to buy or sell. This information should only be used by investors who are aware of the risk inherent in securitie s trading. The facts , information, data, indicators and charts presented have b een obtained from s ources believed to be reliable, but their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The Financial Daily International and its employees are not responsible for any loss arising from use of these reports and re commendations. Streamlining the syllabus point for students before they enter into the professional world. What students learn at universities remains with them forever. Business schools need to ensure that the curriculum and the course structure of their degree programs are regularly updated but aligned with the needs of the corporate sector. They must reflect the forward thinking of the i nstitute as well. While the foundation concepts and the terms for courses related to accounting, management, media, finance, marketing, and human resource may remain the same, the application and usage will vary from year- to- year. With time, the course st ruct ure needs to be evolved by including current scenario examples. These will help the students understand the t rends being followed i n t he market t o bett er unders t and t he t heories. Moreover, t he course must reflect upon the best practi ces being followed by organizations. These should include case st udies for the students to better comprehend how t o apply a certain concept in the real world. Another aspect of evolving t he syllabus pertains to aligning the students' thought process with t he future. What we studied i n science at school two decades ago has been replaced by terms and concepts that were discovered in the recent past. For instance, in the year 1998, students were t aught how to operate a computer and what are its various components. Today, it is the need of t he hour to make students teach how to operate a smartphone and how t o operate it. In such times when information is readily available to all through the Internet, it i s i mportant to provide the application of such information. This compels educational institutes to restructure t heir course content and curriculum and how it i s being taught. Faculty members need to be ahead of time and instruct students with such concepts that let them fortify their future as professionals. The course structure eventually becomes a tool used by the students to understand the practical aspects to achieve professional success. How it is taught makes t he right impact. If the t eacher is unable to explain t he concepts by adding real- li fe value t o them, then his words will merely remain words that will not motivate the students. Business schools teaching courses such as advertising, media sciences, strategic management, and data science among others need to keep an eye on the cur- rent trends. The heads of each department and the faculty members need t o observe upon points of how to evolve the course structure. Moreover, faculty members must consider the market trend. Surveys and research must be undertaken to decipher what kind of graduates having what skills and qualities are needed in t he market. They must analyze the kind of j obs that are being advertised and the kind of graduates that are working at such positions. This will provide th e business schools with a holistic approach to add value to the courses they are offering. The objective must be to make t heir courses run parallel to the current market si tuation so t hat the graduates add value to t he corporate sector once they enter t he f i eld. Furtherm ore, t h e cur r i culum must be advanced enough to compete with similar courses being offer ed by fo r eign business s chools and universities. T he i mportance of curriculum in educat i on cannot be ignored. The syllabus that the faculty members follow i n ed uc at i onal i nstitu t e s needs t o be upgraded cont i nuous l y. What t he st udents learn in the class will eventually become t h ei r guiding principle once they enter into the professional world. However, much emphasis must be given to what the actual course content i s. The course being ta ught at schools and colleges can be generic. Nevertheless, it should be upgraded every year. Such information should be added to help nurture the student's cognitive skills and their abil ity to think. However, special emphasis must be given to the course content followed by business schools and universiti es. This remains to be t he last major educational check- Muhammad Omar Iftikhar The writer is a columnist, author, speaker and currently working at a business management institute in Karachi. He can be reached at: omariftikhar@ hotmail. com A brutalised society money cannot buy? A most fundamental flaw in official thinking is that serious crime, such as gang rape, is viewed selectively and treated entirely as a law- and- order matter. In an incident of gang rape, perhaps as shocking as the motorway incident, reported from Punjab the other day, a woman was gang raped by dacoits in front of her husband whose hands and feet had been tied up. No person in authority felt outraged because each and every gang rape is not denounced. There is, in fact, considerable acceptance of gang rape as something of an unfortunate occurrence about which nothing can be done. Further, no evidence is on record that gang rape or any other heinous crime has been investigated or analysed from social and psychological perspectives. Very young girls are raped and killed with frightening regularity despite the hanging of a few culprits but apart from making laws to prescribe tougher penalties the government has not undertaken or sponsored any study of the causes of assaults on young girls or the methods of protecting the victims through their and their parents' education. A fact that is hardly ever taken note of is that much of the crime against women and girls has its roots in the patriarchal culture that has become stronger over the years, mainly as a result of the state's deliberate failure to acknowledge women's right to equality with the male species. Without affirmative state action to establish gender equality, all spasmodic efforts to protect women against sex fiends will prove in vain.- I. A. Rehman already been overruled for being contrary to Islamic injunctions by the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology. The experience of all nations shows that severe penalties do not cause a decline in crime. Anyone in the administration could have informed the prime minister and other members of the government that Pakistan is a signatory to the Convention against Torture which also bars cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. The government should examine the final report of the committee on torture on Pakistan's initial report in 2017 and assess the level of compliance with its recommendations that Islamabad has supported or noted before defending its performance in May next year. The prime minister has blamed foreign governments for tying his hands and preventing him from moving mountains for the public good. It is time this bogey of foreign hands' involvement in Pakistan's affairs was laid to rest. There is much in the affairs of the state that is in violation of the Constitution and the laws and that cannot be attributed to foreign authorities. Besides, good governance is not demanded to please foreign governments. It is demanded as a fundamental right of the people. Let the government exercise its authority as much as it wants and in a manner of its choice. If the people are incapable of judging the government's performance, history will. The whole hankering for cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments is based on a misconception that severe penalties deter crime. The experience of all nations in the world shows that harsh punishments do not cause a decline in crime. Pakistan has been trying to control crime by increasing the severity of punishments. At independence, the death penalty was prescribed for only two offences; today it can be awarded for 27 crimes. Each year, the death penalty is awarded to several hundred persons. During 2015- 2017, for instance, 385 persons on an average were sentenced to death each year. Has this reduced the number of murders per year? Did the murder rate in Pakistan come down during the Zia regime? There was a time when the punishment for stealing a mare in England was death. That didn't stop the stealing of mares. What helped bring down crime in England was far- reaching reform in the system of criminal justice, industrialisation, greater prosperity and improved job security. The key to crime management does not lie in raising the scale of punishments but in making the legal processes efficient by establishing what is called the majesty of law, and that is secured by ensuring that no criminal can escape being caught and punished. The government must investigate the causes t hat have brought the conviction rate to less than 20 per cent. This gives a criminal reason to believe that he will not be caught and if he is unlucky to be apprehended the chances of his being convicted are at most 20pc. Who doesn't know about inefficiency and corruption in the investigation and prosecution of cases and the fact that at the level of subordinate courts there is nothing that A mong the facts highlighted in the wake of the motorway gang rape outrage is the extent to which the ruling elite has been brutalised and the way it is further brutalising ordinary citizens. The punishments suggested for assaults on women and children reveal not only a total disregard of civilisational values but also ignorance of the country's Constitution and its obligations under international treaties. The incidence of gang rape in Pakistan is quite high and such cases rarely cause public outrage. But the motorway gang rape hit a sensitive nerve and caused public revulsion on an unprecedented scale. However, the ruling elite went berserk while proposing punishments for the perpetrators of the heinous crime. The proposed punishments ranged from public hanging to chemical castration of the culprits. The lead was unfortunately taken by the prime minister who supported public hanging and chemical castration both. All those backing the utterly barbaric punishments betrayed a stunning ignorance of Article 14 ( 1) of the Constitution, regarding the inviolability of the dignity of person. This guarantee of inviolability of the human person, the only right in absolute terms the citizens have, is not aimed at protecting the dignity of the privileged as much as it offers protection to underprivileged people who come into conflict with the law. All suggested punishments that violate the right to the dignity of person are inadmissible in a debate on the subject. Besides, suggestions of chemical castration have Courtesy: Dawn Plastic scourge ruining our planet and our children future Durdana Najam more t han 500 billion disposable plastic bags are used annually. People purchase a million pl astic bottles every minute around the world, and we throw away plastics equivalent to our body weight each year. The amount of plastic thrown in the ocean i s also astronomical. Almost eight million tons of plastic is thrown in t he ocean each year. As of now, at least 93 mill ion tons of plastic have been dumped in the ocean putting the marine wildli fe in perpetual danger. Nearly 500 dead zones ( lacki ng dissolved oxygen) covering 245,000 square kilometres are found in the waterbed. Now almost every marine species have come into contact with plastic because of which every year, one million marine birds and 100,000 marine mammals die. Talking of hope for improvement has become a cliché. Estimates show that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. By the same year, 99% of marine birds would have i ngested plastic in micro or nanoparticle form. Plastic i s everywhere. The plastic containers/ pouches used to cook food l ose about one gram of plastic t hat ends up in our food. Pakistan started several campaigns to discourage the use of polythene bags but not much has been achieved in this regard. The absence of will on the part of the authorities appears to be the reason behind plastic bags being st ill in use i n one form or the other. This yet another administrative failure has forced t he superior courts to i ntervene. The Lahore High Court has ordered the replacement of plast ic bags with recyclable paper bags. The Environment Protection Agency has been asked to enforce a complete ban on the manufacturing, sale, and use of polythene bags across Punjab. A gl obal campaign call ed # CleanSea has been launched with an aim to end ocean pollution. The target of the campaign was to eliminate two major sources of marine waste: microplastics and single- use plas t i c i t ems. The f ormer i s used i n c os metic s. Industries the world over have been requested to reduce the production and usage of plastic products. A lot is in the hands of the consumer. They can make or break the policies that do not support the environment's wellbeing. By aligning local awareness programmes, a lot can be achieved, that t oo at a faster rate. Take for example the recent initiative taken by the Omar Harfouch Foundation in Tripoli, Lebanon. The organisat ion with the support of the city's Chamber of Commerce waged a war on pollution. The entire city was involved in the project. The one- point agenda of the organisation was t he elimination of plast ic bags and the administration was asked to empty an open- air landfill site that was nearly 45 metres tall. The gigan- tic project became possible because of the institutional support of the UN under the leadership of UnderSecretary- General Philippe Douste- Blazy. The younger generation will have t o understand t he grav i ty of t he situ atio n unlike th ei r paren t s, who l acked t he res olve t o i mplement decisi ons t o r educe damages i nduced by cl i matic change. They will have t o work t o pro t ect t heir i nterests . Each one of us will have to play a r ol e. Sorting r ecyclables i s th e place t o start with. In spite of decades- lo ng eff orts, th i s habit has yet t o ta ke hold on us . Advanced countries have set t hemselves t he t arget t o become zer o waste. San Francisco i s a case i n point. By 2025, it will be t he f ir st t o proclai m i t self as a zero- waste city t hanks t o i t s i ncentive programmes. Cr e a t i n g a war e ne s s t hr ou gh e d uc a t i on al pr og r a mmes, c ha n gi n g ou r ha b i t s , a n d pr o moti ng r esearch t o produce altern at i ve products i s t he way f orward. We are con fr onted with a challenge t o our survi val . I t cannot be t aken l i ghtly. To use a plastic bag, or t hr ow plastic i n t he water, or buy a p l ast i c packaging t o store f ood, o r warm food i n a plastic container should make us t hi nk about t he world t hat we would be l eaving behind f or our childr en and post erity.- A country which s hould have been act i ve l y involved in observing the World Cleanup Day f al l i ng on Septem ber 19, 2020, has been appallingly sile nt given that for weeks during t he recent heavy monsoon rains, it s la rgest cities sank into the water because of garbage and industrial waste choking the nullahs and drai n ways. Though a one- day celebration might not have made much difference, it at least would have given us the chance to find t he causes of environmental degradation. Climate change has made it abundantly clear that we have very little ti me to decide how to realign our goals to reverse the damaging effects of climatic dissonance. A lot of attention has been given to the importance of trees in preserving the Earth's temperature, but very li ttle thinking has been done for changing how we consume. Not a day passes by without us hearing the damage plastic has caused to our environment that includes both the oceanic and the earthly l ife . New initiatives and projects appear every now and then t o put a curb on the usage of this non- degradable and insol uble product. Practicall y speaking, there is not much to celebrate that a change has occurred. The statistics are even worse. We consume mindboggling amounts of plastic. 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