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Opinion

Adar Poonawalla, from the Serum Institute of India, among the 6 named ‘Asians of the year’ by the Singapore newspaper

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Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is among six people named “Asians of the Year” by Singapore’s leading daily, The Straits Times, for his work in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has collaborated with the University of Oxford and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to manufacture the Covid-19 vaccine, ” Covidshield, ” and is conducting trials in India.

The other five named on the list are Chinese researcher Zhang Yongzhen, who led the team that mapped and published online the first complete genome of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that caused the pandemic, China’s Major General Chen Wei. , Dr. Ryuichi from Japan. Morishita and Professor Ooi Eng Eong of Singapore, who are at the forefront of developing vaccine against the virus, and South Korean businessman Seo Jung-jin, whose company will enable the manufacture and dispensing of vaccines and other Covid-19 treatments in the world. .

Known collectively as “the virus hunters,” they are heroes of a species, having dedicated themselves to the urgent cause of solving the coronavirus pandemic, each in their own capacity, the newspaper said.

“Sars-CoV-2, the virus that has brought death and hardship to the largest and most populous continent in the world, meets its tamer in The Virus Busters,” the award quote read.

“We salute your courage, care, commitment and creativity. In this dangerous hour, you are a symbol of hope for Asia, indeed, for the world. ”The Serum Institute was founded by Poonawalla’s father, Cyrus Poonawalla, in 1966.

Poonawalla joined the Serum Institute of India in 2001 and became the CEO of the Serum Institute with complete control of the daily operations of the company in 2011.

Poonawalla said he has invested $ 250 million of his family’s fortune in increasing the manufacturing capacity of his institute.

“I decided to do everything possible,” said Poonawalla, 39, who has vowed that his firm’s COVID-19 vaccines will help supply low- and middle-income countries that face significant disadvantages in seeking to obtain them.

Poonawalla said her institute is helping poorer countries level up their access to vaccines.

In the bigger picture of ending the pandemic, common purposes are key, said The Straits Times, Singapore’s leading daily.

The Straits Times Asians of the Year have led the way, as have many other individuals in their own fields. When an end is looming, it is due in large part to these people who, undeterred by the tumult, have engaged in the sobering and much-needed work of crafting a crisis exit plan for humanity.

“There has not been a day this year that the pandemic has not made the news. The editors of Straits Times felt that there could be no more audiences this year than the people who faced Asia’s biggest health challenge, engaged in pioneering and courageous efforts to prevent the highly contagious virus from causing further harm. ”Bhagyashree Garekar, Straits Times’ foreign publisher said on Saturday.

“In a year ending with a desire for big restarts … Asia’s virus hunters are the face of hope on the horizon,” Garekar said.

Among them, the 2020 award winners capture the entire trajectory of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In deciding to honor The Virus Busters, the editors of Straits Times had in mind those who, in one way or another, have enabled the complex multi-stage process to prevent so many people around the world from contracting the deadly disease in so little time. time as possible.

“Every year, the editors of ST look for a person, team or organization that has not only made or shaped the news, but also positively contributed to Asia in the process,” said Warren Fernandez, Singapore editor-in-chief. Press Holdings’ English / Malay / Tamil Media Group and editor of Straits Times.

“This year we naturally look at those involved in the fight against Covid-19, which has dominated the headlines. We debated long and hard, but finally we agreed on a group of people who have done the most to help find an answer to the crisis caused by the virus.

“They are a disparate group whose collective efforts have fueled the search for vaccines, allowing them to be discovered and delivered with an urgency never before seen or attempted. Their commitment and actions have helped save lives and have given hope to people throughout Asia and the world, ”said Fernández.

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