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COVID-19

Time to plan transport of COVID-19 vaccines is now: IATA 

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(Last Updated On: September 10, 2020)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments around the world to start planning for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines once approved and available. 

IATA said in a statement that air cargo plays a key role in the distribution of vaccines under normal circumstances and that this will be critical to efficient transport and distribution of a vaccine when the time comes. 

However, governments will need to plan accordingly well in advance and with industry stakeholders. 

“Safely delivering COVID-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry. But it won’t happen without careful advance planning. And the time for that is now,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. 

“We urge governments to take the lead in facilitating cooperation across the logistics chain so that the facilities, security arrangements and border processes are ready for the mammoth and complex task ahead,” he said. 

“Delivering billions of doses of vaccine to the entire world efficiently will involve hugely complex logistical and programmatic obstacles all the way along the supply chain. We look forward to working together with government, vaccine manufacturers and logistical partners to ensure an efficient global roll-out of a safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

IATA stated that vaccines must be handled and transported in line with international regulatory requirements, at controlled temperatures and without delay to ensure the quality of the product.

The association stated that while there are still many unknowns (number of doses, temperature sensitivities, manufacturing locations, etc.), it is clear that the scale of activity will be vast, that cold chain facilities will be required and that delivery to every corner of the planet will be needed. 

Security is also of paramount importance, stated IATA. Vaccines will be highly valuable commodities. Arrangements must be in place to ensure that shipments remain secure from tampering and theft.

“Processes are in place to keep cargo shipments secure, but the potential volume of vaccine shipments will need early planning to ensure that they are scalable,” IATA stated. 

IATA also warned governments to take into consideration the diminished cargo capacity in the air transport sector after passenger traffic has downsized and networks have moth-balled many aircraft.

The potential size of the delivery is enormous. Just providing a single dose to 7.8 billion people would fill 8,000 747 cargo aircraft, IATA stated.

“Even if we assume that half the needed vaccines can be transported by land, the air cargo industry will still face its largest single transport challenge ever. In planning their vaccine programs, particularly in the developing world, governments must take very careful consideration of the limited air cargo capacity that is available at the moment. If borders remain closed, travel curtailed, fleets grounded and employees furloughed, the capacity to deliver life-saving vaccines will be very much compromised,” said de Juniac.  

COVID-19

Oxygen producing plant inaugurated at Kabul Hospital

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2020)

An oxygen-producing plant was inaugurated on Sunday at Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital in the capital Kabul city.

A number of high-ranking government officials including Ahmad Jawad Osmani, Acting Minister of Public Health, and several MPs and Monsoor Ahmad Khan Ambassador of Pakistan to Kabul had attended the inauguration ceremony of the plant.  

The plant with a capacity of producing 50 balloons of oxygen per hour would meet patients’ needs at the hospital. 

The 300-bed Jinnah Hospital, which was one of the capital’s Covid-19 isolation centers, is constructed by the government of Pakistan in Dasht-e-Barchi of the city at a cost of $24 million.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Monsoor Ahmad Khan stated that Pakistan is committed to assisting Afghanistan in development projects.

“We are trying to establish a cancer treatment center at the Ali Jinnah Hospital. Pakistan is ready to assist Afghanistan in various areas, even peace,” the Pakistani Ambassador said. 

At the inauguration ceremony, Public Health Acting Minister Jawad Osmani warned of the second wave of Covid-19 in the country.

He stated that around 1240 people have been infected with Covid-19 in the past week. According to him, the infections have increased by 10 percent and the fatalities have increased by 3 percent.

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COVID-19

Corona: Covid-19 across the world

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(Last Updated On: November 26, 2020)

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COVID-19

Corona: Afghanistan facing second wave of Coronavirus

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(Last Updated On: November 18, 2020)

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