In a major breakthrough, Britain has won the status of becoming the first western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for putting on the market beating China, the US in the never-breaking race. The vaccine will be available for the general public after the virus started infecting people in China last year in December and soon found its prey all over the world. The vaccine by the BioNTech-Pfizer has been given approval by the UK’s independent medicines regulator. The vaccine may soon hit the shelf around the world as countries like Italy and Japan have promised free inoculations for all given the risks and complications attached with the deadly disease which has claimed 1.5 million lives worldwide and is counting. On the other hand, China is also in the final stages of the clinical trial and approval for marketing of its vaccine, which will soon be exported to several countries, including Pakistan. The whole world has already been waiting for the vaccine delivery. Russia has already marketed its own vaccine among its own people. The race to claim the pioneer vaccine manufactures has been ignited given its economic and diplomatic effects. For this reason, the Trump administration in the US launched a $10.8 billion Operation Warp Speed program to accelerate the vaccine’s research and development to save the US population from the killer virus.
Regardless of the origin of the vaccine, the medicine should be able to allow us to save our lives and get the routine life and economy moving again, which the virus has put on halt in many parts of the world. On Wednesday, the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department imposed a complete ban on indoor dining in all types of hotels, restaurants and cafes of the province and only outdoor dining, with adequate spacing between tables and takeaway shall be allowed. More and more such restrictions are needed to contain the spread of the virus. On Thursday (at the time of our going into the press), there were 3,499 cases reported, while 39 people died. The number of infected people is 406,810 and with Thursday’s 39 coronavirus deaths, the countrywide toll is 8,205. Sadly, the government and the opposition are taking different positions on coronavirus control. The opposition says it will go ahead with its Lahore rally plan on December 13. Both the government and the opposition should talk out the problem. This is not the right time for rallies. Keep physical distance and save yourself and others. *