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Omicron variant is wake-up call on vaccine inequality: South African president

Cyril Ramaphosa added that the world should expect more variants until everyone is vaccinated. 

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Omicron variant is wake-up call on vaccine inequality: South African president
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Cape Town: South Africa’s president Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa Sunday said that the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant shows that vaccine inequality must be corrected.

While addressing to nation, Cyril Ramaphosa said, “The emergence of the Omicron variant should be a wake-up call to the world that vaccine inequality cannot be allowed to continue”.

“We have said that vaccine inequality not only costs lives and livelihoods in those countries that are denied access but that it also threatens global efforts to overcome the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said.

Cyril Ramaphosa added that the world should expect more variants until everyone is vaccinated. 

On the move by several countries to restrict travel to and from southern Africa, Ramaphosa said that “instead of prohibiting travel, the rich countries of the world need to support the efforts of developing economies to access and to manufacture enough vaccine doses for their people without delay”.

The premier further added that prohibition on travel will do only damage to the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic.

The president said the restrictions “are unjustified and unfairly discriminate against our country and our southern African sister countries,” adding “the prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant.”

He also called on the countries that banned travel to African nations to "urgently reverse their decisions before any further damage is done to our economies”.

The new variant was identified days ago by researchers in South Africa, and much is still not known about it, including whether it is more contagious, more likely to cause serious illness or more able to evade the protection of vaccines. 

The same variant was also detected in neighboring Botswana as well as Hong Kong and was first spotted on November 12-22 before being announced Thursday. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the strain a "variant of concern," naming it Omicron.

In a bid to curb the spread of new variant, several countries around the world banned flights from over half a dozen southern African nations including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

Sports

Former Pakistan Pacer Umar Gul Appointed Bowling Coach

The 37-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest pacers, particularly in T20 cricket

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Former Pakistan Pacer Umar Gul Appointed Bowling Coach

Kabul: Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has appointed former Pakistan speedster, Umar Gul, for a period of one year. Gul’s first assignment with the Afghanistan side will be on their limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe next month.

The former pacer has earlier worked with the board as a bowling consultant for their three-week training camp held in Dubai in April alongside mate Younis Khan as the batting coach.

However, on seeing his performance with the team, ACB is delighted to announce the extension in the role.

This will be Gul’s first coaching assignment in international cricket after serving as the bowling coach of Quetta Gladiators in the 2021 season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

The 37-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest pacers, particularly in T20 cricket. Gul had an exceptional record in T20Is as he picked up 85 wickets at an average of 16.97 and an economy rate of 7.19 in 60 matches in a T20I career spanning almost 9 years. Gul retired from all forms of cricket in 2019 and has since worked as a coach.

The former pacer has previously coached in Pakistan’s premier T20 tournament, Pakistan Super League (PSL), as a bowling coach for Quetta Gladiators. He has also worked as a coach in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and was the head coach of Galle Gladiators in the previous edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL).

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Pakistan

Govt hikes per litre price of petrol and diesel by Rs30

New prices will go into effect at midnight

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Govt hikes per litre price of petrol and diesel by Rs30

Islamabad: The federal government Thursday announced hike in per litre price of petrol and diesel by Rs30 each.

The announcement came after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emphasised abolishing the subsidies on the commodities.

Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announed raise during a press conference.

In a tweet, the minister said: "Government has decided to increase the prices of Petrol, High Speed Diesel, Kerosene Oil and Light Diesel Oil by Rs 30 per litre from Friday May 27, 2022. New prices will go into effect at midnight. The new price of petrol will be Rs 179.86 & diesel will be Rs 174.15 per litre."

Petrol will now be available at Rs179.86, diesel Rs174.15, Kerosene oil Rs155.56 and Light diesel Rs148.31.

Ismail said the government had no other option but to raise the prices, adding that "we are still bearing a loss of Rs56 per litre on diesel" even under the new pricing.

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Pakistan

‘Pak-Turk-Kazakh Youth Forum on Biotech’ to be held in Sept

The event will include informative talks from young as well as the experienced scientists of the three countries.

Published by Mehak Javed

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‘Pak-Turk-Kazakh Youth Forum on Biotech’ to be held in Sept

Islamabad: Three-day `Pakistan-Turkey-Kazakhstan Youth Forum on Biotechnology’ will be arranged in September with emphasis on increasing the share of Muslim countries in biotechnology global market.

The forum, to be held from September 13-15, is being sponsored by COMSTECH-the OIC Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) and Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF), an official said. 

The global biotechnology market is anticipated to reach a market value of US$ 775 billion by 2024 with an annual growth rate of 7.7%. Increased spending in biotechnology research and development, favourable initiatives by governments, global food security and the increasing need for emerging technologies are some of the factors influencing this growth.

Unfortunately, the share of Muslim countries in this global market of biotechnology is very little which needs to be increased.

This proposed tripartite youth forum (Pakistan-Turkey-Kazakhstan) will help promote excellence and competence in the field of agricultural biotechnology among Muslim countries.

The theme of the forum “Agriculture Biotechnology” aims at providing the best knowledge and resources to young participants to advance their research goals, the official informed.

The youth forum will stimulate the desire to collaborate and change the world of agricultural biotechnology and innovation by promoting state-of-the-art practices in biotechnology research and promoting evidence-based practices.

The event will include informative talks from young as well as the experienced scientists of the three countries.

The event will also include keynote lectures, plenary sessions, oral and poster presentations, discussions and other educational and social events that stimulate several networking opportunities among the young participants of Pakistan, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

The official highlighted that the forum aims to facilitate interactions within the young research community to discuss the latest developments in this rapidly advancing field and find ways to respond to the increasing demands of professionals and communities across the world.

The academics, students and researchers from the OIC countries may apply, while only participants from Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Turkey are eligible for the limited funding available for travel and local hospitality.

This youth forum is planned to be a hybrid event (Physical and virtual), while candidates are required to give their preference in the form.

The participants from all the member OIC states, who can bear their travel expenses may register for the forum and get ticket funding from their parent organizations.

The topics to be covered during the forum include Genome editing and new breeding technologies, large scale genomics and genomic selection in crop and livestock breeding, speed breeding for rapid genetic gain, variants of Cas proteins and their potential applications and high throughput phenomics.

SOURCE: APP

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