Rights Watch | 23rd January 2021

CanSinoBIO has offered Pakistan special access and pricing options for 20 million single-shot COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the firm's local partner AJM Pharma Pvt; Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani reiterates schools are obligated to call in half its enrolled student body for classes on alternating days; Fisherfolk community denounces discriminatory policies, calls for uplift schemes and an end to harassment of fisherfolk by security personnel

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Rights Watch

CanSinoBIO offers 20 million vaccines

CanSinoBIO has offered Pakistan special access and pricing options for 20 million single-shot COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the firm’s local partner AJM Pharma Pvt. The vaccine is expected to deliver the results of its phase-III trials in the coming days, and so far has reported mild side-effects such as fever and body ache among volunteers. CanSinoBIO is also planning on cutting production costs by 25 percent by filling the vials locally. So far, there is no exact date for when Pakistan will begin administering vaccines to frontline healthcare workers in phase I of its inoculation plan. Meanwhile, some 50 countries have already begun vaccinating their populations against the viral disease.

The firm also plans on reducing costs by 25% by filling vials locally – no date yet for when Pakistan will start vaccinations.

Students to attend classes on alternate days

Provincial Minister of Sindh for Labour, Education and Literacy, and Human Resources Saeed Ghani on Friday, January 22 reiterated that schools are obligated to call in half its enrolled student body for classes on one day and the remaining half the next. Students of grades one to eight are expected to attend on-campus classes on February. Saeed Ghani further stated that students will not be promoted without sitting for exams, as just 60 percent of the syllabus is expected to be taught after schools finally reopen.

Fisherfolk decry discriminatory policies

The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and the Pakistan Bonafide Fishermen Forum (PBFF) on Thursday held conference on Baba Island to denounce the discriminatory policies of the government which has affected the lives and incomes of the fisherfolk community, and the harassment they face from security personnel when going out to sea to net fish. The bodies called on the federal and provincial governments to put a stop to this harassment and ban deep sea trawlers. They also brought attention to the devastating effects of pollution and illegal cutting of mangrove forests on their livelihood. The convention demanded uplift schemes and policies, such as provision of jobs for their children in the Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority, Karachi Port Trust, Maritime Security Agency, the Pakistan Navy, Port Qasim Authority and the Sindh fisheries department, and provision of loans on low markups.

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