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COVID-19: Are we close to a vaccine for the novel coronavirus?

Coronavirus has infected more than 16.5 million people, and 6.5 million over 654,000 have died, even in countries where healthcare facilities are incredibly modern like the United States of America, France, the United Kingdom and Germany (“Coronavirus vaccine: US doubles spending to nearly $1b”, Gulf News, July 27). It will be more appropriate that all those vaccine manufacturers who are at the final stage of trials should pool their resources together and bring COVID-19 vaccine at earliest to stop the spread of coronavirus. The pandemic has affected the economy very severely, we find a large number of people unemployed, the very existence of human beings is at stake. Hence this vaccine is a final glimmer of hope for human beings.

From Mr Ramesh G Jethwani

Bangalore, India

Child labour is unacceptable

The average age for a child to be able to work is fifteen years and above, according to the Human Rights Watch’s convention number 138, which allows adolescents to combine work with school, or alternatively, to work fulltime if they have completed school, and working conditions are not hazardous (“Eight-year-old maid's death spurs calls for child labour reform in Pakistan”, Gulf News, June 06). Children falling below this age limit can’t be allowed to indulge in any work forcefully. Why is that so? Because child labour takes away the kids opportunity of having a normal childhood, a proper education, and physical and mental well-being. In some countries, it is illegal, but still, it’s a far way from being completely eradicated. Child labour happens due to several reasons. While some of the reasons may be common in some countries, there are some reasons which are specific, in particular areas and regions. When we look at what is causing child labour, we will be able to fight it better. Firstly, it happens in countries that have a lot of poverty and unemployment. When the families don’t have enough earning, they put the children of the family to work so they can have enough money to survive.

Similarly, if the adults in a family are unemployed, the younger ones end up having to work in their place. Often, when people do not have access to education, they put their children to work. Furthermore, the money-saving attitude of various industries is a significant cause of child labour. They hire children because they pay them lesser for the same work as an adult. They can easily influence and manipulate them. They only see their profit, and this is why they engage children in factories.

From, Mr Pankaj Sharma


Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India

More rapist fathers are hiding under the pretence of being good fathers (“India: Man rapes daughter after giving her sleeping pills instead of medicines for cold”, Gulf News, June 29). There is a need for mothers to talk and discuss such matters with their daughters, confidentially. Do not be afraid to ask them if their fathers have made inappropriate advances or even tried to rape them. Do not say it cannot happen to my daughter, and do not blame your daughter if such an incident occurs. It is all the fathers' fault, and lack of respect. In India, there are a lot more similar incidents, which have not been exposed because mothers and daughters depend on fathers to take care of them. I strongly urge the government to set up shelters for abused women and children. So many young lives are being destroyed, and so much of innocence and being lost. People who commit such crimes against should be severely punished.

From Mr Abhinav


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