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Indian scientists develop 'world's first Zika virus vaccine'

05:53 PM | 3 Feb, 2016
Indian scientists develop 'world's first Zika virus vaccine'
HYDERABAD (Web Desk) - Scientists at an Indian laboratory claim they have developed the world's first vaccine against the Zika Virus.

The World Health Organisation has declared Zika and its suspected link to birth defects a global health emergency. More than 20 countries in Latin America have reported an outbreak and a rare case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex has been reported in Texas, USA.

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As the world searches for a vaccine and other global companies take first steps on research, the Bharat Biotech International Limited in Hyderabad says it has patented the Zika vaccine, NDTV reported on Wednesday.

"On Zika, we are probably the first vaccine company in the world to file a vaccine candidate patent about nine months ago," said Dr Krishna Ella, company’s Chairman and Managing Director.

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Using a live Zika virus imported officially, the Hyderabad company has now developed two candidate vaccines, but taking them through animal and human trials could be a long haul.

Dr Ella said he had sought the government's support on this and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)has stepped forward to help.

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Dr Ella said in a best case scenario his company can make one million doses of the vaccine in four months. He has sought the direct intervention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the vaccine's development and delivery is fast-tracked, cutting through the red tape of regulatory clearances.

He pointed out that the vaccine can help countries such as Brazil, a fellow member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group, the country hardest hit by Zika.

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The virus has been reported in more than 30 countries and linked to microcephaly, in which babies have abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains.

Brazil, which has 3,700 suspected cases of microcephaly that may be linked to Zika, is scheduled to host the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.

The writer is a member of the staff.

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 24 April 2024 Forex Rates

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 22, 2024 Monday in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293.2 for buying and 296.2 for selling while British Pound hovers at 339.5 for buying, and 343 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.25. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293.2 296.2
UK Pound Sterling GBP 339.5 343
U.A.E Dirham AED 75 75.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.25 73.95
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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