Cybersecurity in the UAE has always maintained a credible record. In the latest Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI 2020) issued by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UAE came in fifth. In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity for the UAE Government, shares insightful information on the cybersecurity scene in the UAE and highlights his goals and aspirations.

Read more: Adaptive, Proactive and Dynamic: The UAE’s Cybersecurity Scene

Many people in the industry have been very much interested in knowing about the latest developments of Rosenberger, the high-tech telecommunications leader, especially after the spinoff of its Antenna and DAS wireless coverage product portfolio. Laurence Miao, the vice president of Rosenberger Asia Pacific, was interviewed by Telecom Review to outline his insights, together with the outlook for growing Rosenberger’s business in the region.

Read more: Rosenberger: Refocus for Today and Future

In order to shed light on the importance of private wireless networks, Telecom Review had an exclusive interview with Danial Mausoof, head of sales for mobile networks at Nokia in Middle East and Africa. He touched on Nokia’s contribution to the PWN market in the MEA and shared insights on the pertinent security aspect.

Read more: Private Wireless Networks Are a Vital Step in Digital Transformation Journeys, says Nokia

COVID-19 updates

Two COVID-19 inactivated vaccines have just been approved to go into clinical trial by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China.

The vaccines were produced by Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd of Sinopharm and Sinovac Research and Development Co. Ltd respectively.

An academic from China Academy of Engineering who was involved in the development of the vaccine, Wang Junzhi, said, “We are taking the lead in developing COVID-19 vaccines in a global perspective.”

He also added that he believes that several factors contributed to his team’s achievement; namely, starting early and with an accurate direction, the fact that it was approached from a scientific perspective and that collaboration on all parts was very much prevalent.

This vaccine is seen as one of the most powerful tools to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, China has been determined to accelerate the pace of vaccine developments based on rational judgment and structured planning with the premise of safety assurance, as far back as January this year. On January 21st, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) established a group of experts who would contribute to epidemic prevention and work out measure which could be taken to contain and eradicate it.

This team was comprised of 14 experts and was led by an academic from the China Academy of Engineering, Zhong Nanshan. This group devised a plan to tackle vaccine development based on five directions which included: inactivated vaccines, nucleic acid vaccines, genetic engineering subunit vaccines, vaccines using attenuated influenza virus as vectors and adenovirus vector vaccines.

Following this, eight teams were established in an effort to initiate greater collaboration on this mission whereby detailed and accurate plans were followed. All the five methods were to be worked on simultaneously until they found the most suitable means of tackling the virus.

Thanks to an academic from China’s Academy of Engineering, Chen Wei, who possessed the necessary knowledge about vaccine development due to her previous experience, her team was able to reach a breakthrough first. She suggested that COVID-19 is still a coronavirus despite its variation which meant that mutual target antigen, pathogenesis and receptor would be identified quickly. Bioinformatics and the use of big data would help identify them and make great strides in solving this humanitarian crisis.

Chen Wei’s team worked on developing an adenovirus vector vaccine, drawing on previous experience with the last epidemic crisis- Ebola. The team got their recombinant COVID-19 vaccine approved for clinical trial on March 17th and was subsequently used for a phase I clinical trial in Wuhan on 108 subjects by April 2nd. A week later, the phase II clinical trial was underway, featuring an even larger amount of subjects as well as placebo control groups.

At the same time, teams who were focusing on other directions have also seen some progress in their vaccine developments.

The head of the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education, Lei Chaozi outlined that there have been significant developments in areas such as attenuated influenza vector, nucleic acid and recombinant protein vaccines.

She mentioned that research on the safety and validity of experimental animals for attenuated influenza vector vaccine is underway. Pre-clinical trial research for vaccine candidates is ongoing and for this direction, they expect to apply for clinical trials by the end of April.

Adding that experiments were being carried out on lab rats and rabbits in this direction and the mass production of this vaccine has been achieved and is of the highest quality and purity, whereas the nucleic acid vaccine segment is still a fairly new field that is yet to be explored by the world as no such vaccine have been introduced to the market.

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