As deadly coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, strategies for developing a safe and effective vaccine are rapidly moving forward, according to reports carried by various global news media.
The first human trials of a coronavirus vaccine are to be launched within days, scientists in the US have said which has showed some kind of hope to the world citizens, even though the situation has already been declared COVID-19 pandemic.
The 'genetic hack' was accelerated past the animal testing stage and will be used on healthy volunteers, then patients if it deemed safe, reports www.dailymail.co.uk.
It comes as scientists in Britain said a vaccine could be tested on humans by June after encouraging results on mice.
Massachusetts-based Moderna created the candidate cure but have taken a different route to traditional techniques. Normally, researchers would take months to test for the possibility of vaccine enhancement in animals.
Given the urgency to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, some drug makers are moving straight into small-scale human tests, without waiting for the completion of such animal tests.
American, UK researchers hopeful
American researches leading the fight against the deadly bug admit hopes of millions of vaccines within a year are 'aspirational'. And in a further blow for Britain, any cure would not be able to halt the anticipated peak in cases in May, www.dailymail.co.uk report said.
But UK researchers, led by Mucosal Infection and Immunity head Dr Robin Shattock, said they have successfully trialed a vaccine in mice and are hopeful it could be ready for human trials by June.
Meanwhile, senior researcher Dr Paul McKay, of Imperial College London, said, “I've got results from a month after I injected (the mice) and the vaccine works really, really well.”
The team is working with scientists in Paris to determine the vaccine's effectiveness in monkeys, he added.
Dr McKay said they have applied for further funding from the Medical Research Council to conduct human clinical trials. “If we get the funding for the human clinical trials, we’ll put it into people by June. If British scientists here develop a vaccine it would be great if the Government supported it,” he said.
Some scientists and medical experts are concerned rushing a vaccine could end up worsening the infection in some patients rather than preventing it.
Progress in Canada
A team of Canadian scientists has successfully isolated and grown copies of the coronavirus — bringing the world a step closer to finding a vaccine to fight the deadly illness, reports the New York Post.
Researchers from the Sunnybrook Research Institute, the University of Toronto, and McMaster University were able to isolate and replicate the virus in a lab using samples taken from two Canadian patients.
The lab-grown copies will now be able to help scientists study the pathogen to develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, vaccines, and gain a better understanding of its biology, the team said in a statement.
Researchers working in China
Eight institutes in China are working on five approaches to inoculations in an effort to combat COVID-19, reports New York Post.
Chinese officials say it could result in a vaccine ready for emergency situations and clinical trials next month.
Israeli researchers also working on vaccine
Scientists in Israel are expected to announce in the coming days that they have completed development of a vaccine for the new coronavirus COVID-19, reports The Economic Times.
Quoting medical sources, Israeli daily Ha'aretz, reported on Thursday that scientists at the Israel's Institute for Biological Research, supervised by the Prime Minister's office, have recently had a significant breakthrough in understanding the biological mechanism and qualities of the virus, including better diagnostic capability, production of antibodies for those who already have the coronavirus and development of a vaccine.
The development process, however, requires a series of tests and experiments that may last many months before the vaccination is deemed effective or safe to use, the report said.
Experts’ opinion about vaccine for coronavirus
Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in USA, said: “I understand the importance of accelerating timelines for vaccines in general, but from everything I know, this is not the vaccine to be doing it with. There is a risk of immune enhancement. The way you reduce that risk is first you show it does not occur in laboratory animals.”
The vaccine prototype is being funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, with the foundation's Dr Melanie Saville telling the Telegraph: “Contain and delay is the approach taken in the UK and a number of different countries.
The approaches are really to buy time in the context of the stretch it puts on the healthcare system - it also buys time for vaccines to be developed. We don't know how the pandemic will evolve, whether, for example, it comes in various different waves.”
The death toll from coronavirus or COVID-19 reached 5,436 globally as of Saturday. Besides, 145,810 new cases were reported from around the world, according to worldometer.
Students and teachers of Dhaka University’s Pharmacy Faculty have prepared low-cost hand sanitiser, aiming to prevent the spread of infectious coronavirus or COVID-19.
Two hundred bottles have been prepared in two days as of Friday at the laboratory of Biotechnology Research Centre of the university, said Dr Md Abdul Muhit of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology department.
Initially, those bottles of sanitiser will be distributed among the students of 18 dormitories, teachers and staff of the university.
Dr Abdul Muhit said, “We’ve prepared it with our own fund. We’ll talk to Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Akhtaruzzaman for further funding. If he cooperates with us, we can take our next step.”
While talking to journalists, DU VC Prof Dr M Akhtaruzzaman said he wants to cooperate with them and will extend support for what they need.
World Health Organization (WHO) instructed all to wash hands with soap and water or to use alcohol-based hand rubs/sanitisers, as hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to eyes, nose or mouth, from where the virus can enter the body and can make one affected with the virus.
Soon after Bangladesh found its first Coronavirus cases confirmed on Sunday, the availability of essentials such as hand sanitizers and liquid hand washes started disappearing from the market, triggering a sudden crisis of the products.
The government has formed a special committee to keep the prices of daily essentials stable during the holy month of Ramadan, said Commerce secretary Md Jafar Uddin on Saturday.
"The committee members will sit in meeting on every Sunday after monitoring the market during the holy month," he said this at a press briefing at the conference room of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) in the capital.
Jafar Uddin said a total of 28 teams will monitor the wholesale and retail markets across the country.
"I will lead a team of 7-8 members in the upcoming month. We have taken it as a challenge to keep the market of daily commodities stable this year. Because, we don't want to create burden on general people,” he added.
He also said the capacity of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has been increased by ten times compared to the last ten years to keep the market stable
TCB Director General Bablu Kumar Shaha said their institution has been able to gain public trust by their previous activities.
"We took many programmes to celebrate the World Consumer Rights Day, 2020 but it will be observed on small scale on Sunday due to coronavirus fear," he also said.
Five people were killed and 12 others injured after a bus collided head on with a rod-laden truck on Khulna-Mawa highway in Kakdanga area in Fakirhat upazila.
Among the deceased, one was identified as Rafiza, a 4-month old girl, while the identities of three men and another woman could not be known yet.
ANM Khairul Anam, officer-in-charge of Fakirhat Police Station, said the Madaripur-bound bus coming from Khulna collided with the truck around 4 pm, leaving three people dead on the spot and 14 others injured.
Later, two of the injured succumbed to their injuries on the way to Fakirhat Upazila Health Complex, the OC added.
Police members , fire fighters and local people rescued the injured and admitted them to Fakirhat Upazila Health Complex and Khulna Medical College Hospital.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Saturday directed the authorities concerned to ensure security of all agents of the candidates of Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) elections scheduled for March 29.
He came up with the order at an opinion exchange meeting with election officials, executive magistrates, and representatives of law enforcement agencies at Chattogram Circuit House.
“Driving out agents from the polling stations is a common allegation during all elections. This time police at polling stations have to take the responsibility of the agents,” the CEC said.
“The election will be a participatory one and if any attempt of sabotage is taken, stern action will be taken,” he added.
The CEC also called upon voters to exercise their franchise freely staying above greed and influence.
About use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the city polls, Nurul Huda said EVMs were used in Dhaka’s two city corporations elections and most of the voters expressed satisfaction over it.
“There’s no fault with EVMs,” he said adding that election results can be published speedily with EVMs.
Chattogram Divisional Commissioner ABM Azad presided over the meeting attended by Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Mahbubur Rahman, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Khandker Golam Faruq, Deputy Commissioner Elias Hossain, and senior Army and Navy members.
As Jatiya Party contestant Solaiman Alam Sheth on Sunday withdrew himself from the mayoral race, candidates of two major political parties – Awami League’s Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, BNP’s Dr Shahadat Hossain – will contest the polls.
Besides, over 100 councillor candidates will compete in the CCC polls.