Survival at stake - GulfToday

Survival at stake

Vaccine-COVID-19

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The scientists at University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group have expressed concerns that they may not be able to complete their research since the virus is diminishing in the UK.  The Oxford scientists group should consider commencing simultaneous trials in Africa, at Kenya and in Asia, say India, where the virus is yet very strong.  The trials should go on.

It’s time to motivate scientists and researchers considering the high stakes that the COVID-19 has. The global economy has come to a grinding halt due to an invisible, but hyper-active virus.

The world could declare a reward of $100 billion to the research organisation and one billion dollar to the lead scientist who discover the vaccine to neutralise COVID-19. This may sound preposterous, but it is the need of the hour. Around 200 nations are impacted by COVID-19, so collecting the money should not be much of a problem. In addition, the most coveted awards of the world like the Nobel Prize could go the scientists who discover the vaccine.

The global economy is taking a massive hit, which may run in a few trillion dollars. According to Fitch ratings, the global GDP is likely to decline by 3.9 per cent in 2020 due to a recession of “unprecedented depth in the post-war period.” This translates to a loss of $2.7 trillion income in 2020, compared to 2019.  So it is best to declare a massive reward in financial and recognition terms upfront. We should not scrounge. At stake is the very survival of mankind, if the virus is not harnessed expeditiously.

Rajendra Aneja — Mumbai, India

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