Publications by authors named "Muhammad Azhar Khan"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Economic and financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Asia.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Oct 11. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

AUSOM, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The world is facing a COVID-19 pandemic outbreak with an unprecedented and enormous impact on the lives of humankind. The economic engine has suffered a big blow in economic and financial performance in all the regions. South Asian countries are also trying to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic. This paper attempts to understand the severity of the pandemic, the responses by the governments of the region, and the way forward. The pandemic affected the services, manufacturing, trade, supply chain, and particularly the small businesses, which disrupted all the economic indicators, forecasts, and growth patterns. The paper also discusses the strategies devised by the countries to counter the shocks of pandemics and what new opportunities are identified under the circumstances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16894-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8504559PMC
October 2021

Nonlinearity in the relationship between COVID-19 cases and carbon damages: controlling financial development, green energy, and R&D expenditures for shared prosperity.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Aug 23. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Department of Management, College of Business Administration, King Saud University, P.O. Box 71115, Riyadh, 11587, Saudi Arabia.

The world faces a high alert of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), leading to a million deaths and could become infected to reach a billion numbers. A sizeable amount of scholarly work has been available on different aspects of social-economic and environmental factors. At the same time, many of these studies found the linear (direct) causation between the stated factors. In many cases, the direct relationship is not apparent. The world is unsure about the possible determining factors of the COVID-19 pandemic, which need to be known through conducting nonlinearity (indirect) relationships, which caused the pandemic crisis. The study examined the nonlinear relationship between COVID-19 cases and carbon damages, managing financial development, renewable energy consumption, and innovative capability in a cross section of 65 countries. The results show that inbound foreign direct investment first increases and later decreases because of the increasing coronavirus cases. Further, the rise and fall in the research and development expenditures and population density exhibits increasing coronavirus cases across countries. The continued economic growth initial decreases later increase by adopting standardized operating procedures to contain coronavirus disease. The inter-temporal relationship shows that green energy source and carbon damages would likely influence the coronavirus cases with a variance of 17.127% and 5.440%, respectively, over a time horizon. The policymakers should be carefully designing sustainable healthcare policies, as the cost of carbon emissions leads to severe healthcare issues, which are likely to get exposed to contagious diseases, including COVID-19. The sustainable policy instruments, including renewable fuels in industrial production, advancement in cleaner production technologies, the imposition of carbon taxes on dirty production, and environmental certifications, are a few possible remedies that achieve healthcare sustainability agenda globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15978-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8381145PMC
August 2021

The impact of coal combustion, nitrous oxide emissions, and traffic emissions on COVID-19 cases: a Markov-switching approach.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Management, College of Business Administration, King Saud University, P.O. Box 71115, Riyadh, 11587, Saudi Arabia.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread to more than 200 countries with a current case fatality ratio (CFR) of more than 2% globally. The concentration of air pollutants is considered a critical factor responsible for transmitting coronavirus disease among the masses. The photochemical process and coal combustions create respiratory disorders that lead to coronavirus disease. Based on the crucial fact, the study evaluated the impact of nitrous oxide (NO) emissions, coal combustion, and traffic emissions on COVID-19 cases in a panel of 39 most affected countries of the world. These three air pollution factors are considered to form a lethal smog that negatively affects the patient's respiratory system, leading to increased susceptibility to coronavirus worldwide. The study used the Markov two-step switching regime regression model for obtaining parameter estimates. In contrast, an innovation accounting matrix is used to assess smog factors' intensity on possibly increasing coronavirus cases over time. The results show that NO emissions, coal combustion, and traffic emissions increase COVID-19 cases in regime-1. On the other hand, N2O emissions significantly increase coronavirus cases in regime-2. The innovation accounting matrix shows that N2O emissions would likely have a more significant share of increasing coronavirus cases with a variance of 33.902%, followed by coal combustion (i.e., 6.643%) and traffic emissions (i.e., 2.008%) over the time horizon. The study concludes that air quality levels should be maintained through stringent environmental policies, such as carbon pricing, sustainable urban planning, green technology advancement, renewable fuels, and pollution less accessible vehicles. All these measures would likely decrease coronavirus cases worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15494-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318325PMC
July 2021

Financial development, oil resources, and environmental degradation in pandemic recession: to go down in flames.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jun 28. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Management, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

The novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a deadly disease that increases global healthcare sufferings. Further, it affects the financial and natural resource market simultaneously, as both are considered complementary goods. The volatility in the oil prices deteriorates the global financial market to substantiate the "financial resource (oil) curse" hypothesis primarily filled with earlier studies. In contrast, this study moved forward and extended the given relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic in a panel of 81 different countries. The study's main objective is to examine the volatility in the domestic credit provided to the private sector due to oil shocks and the COVID-19 pandemic across countries. The study is essential to assess the healthcare vulnerability in the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the damage of financial stability, causing deterioration in the oil rents to affect the global sustainability agenda. The study employed statistical techniques to get sound inferences of the parameter estimates, including robust least squares regression, seemingly unrelated regression, and innovation accounting matrix to get a variable estimate at the level and inter-temporal framework. The results confirmed the U-shaped relationship between oil rents and financial development during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it verifies the "financial resource (oil) curse" hypothesis at the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Later down, it supports the capital market when economies are resuming their economic activities and maintaining the SOPs to restrain coronavirus at a global scale. The qualitative assessment confirmed the negative effect of financial development and oil shocks on environmental quality during the pandemic crisis. The innovation accounting matrix shows that the COVID-19 pandemic will primarily be the main factor that intervenes in the relationship between oil rents and financial development, which proceed towards the "resource curse" hypothesis during the following years' time period. Therefore, the need for long-term economic policies is highly desirable to support the financial and resource market under the suggested guidelines of restraining coronavirus worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15067-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237551PMC
June 2021

Does COVID-19 pandemic disrupt sustainable supply chain process? Covering some new global facts.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jun 19. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Department of Management, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

The adverse effects of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are widely visible in the economic structure, while the principal causal factor is the disruption of the supply chain process that leads to the economies into a global depression. The purpose of the study is to identify the critical factors that affect the global sustainable supply chain process in the cross-sectional panel of 38 European countries, 14 North American countries, 40 Asian countries, and a heterogeneous panel of 111 countries. The results show that an increase in susceptible coronavirus cases and death tolls limits the supply chain process because of nationwide closures of industries and business activities. In contrast, an increase in the number of recovered cases supports economic activities and improved logistic performance index across countries. The innovation accounting matrix shows that since August 2020, the global coronavirus cases will decline and start resuming economic activities to increase the supply chain process. The result is further supported by the estimates of reduction in the proportion of death to recovered cases (case fatality ratio 1) to increase sustainable logistics activities. However, the supply chain process could affect an increasing death toll and case fatality ratio 2 (i.e., the proportion of death to registered cases) over time. The global economies should ensure a free flow of sustainable logistics supply, especially the supply of healthcare medical equipment that would help control the coronavirus pandemic, which escapes from the nations from a global depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14817-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8214375PMC
June 2021

Progress in nuclear energy with carbon pricing to achieve environmental sustainability agenda: on the edge of one's seat.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 1;28(26):34328-34343. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Management, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

The Paris agreement (COP21) emphasized the need to progress toward using low-carbon energy technologies, including nuclear power, that is favorably looked for to meet the challenges to reduce an enormous increase in global temperature to below 2 °C. The cost of carbon pollution is highly induced by the energy sector that damages the global environmental sustainability plan. The alternative and nuclear energy demand is an optimized solution to decrease carbon damages, which can be better work under the imposition of carbon taxes on polluting industries. This study works in a given direction to analyze the role of alternative and nuclear energy, carbon pricing, FDI inflows, fossil fuel combustion, economic growth, and population density on the cost of carbon pollution in a panel of 90 selected countries for a period of 1995-2018. The results confirmed a "nuclear energy-augmented environmental Kuznets curve" with a turning point of 39.974% of total energy demand across countries. The result implies that alternative and nuclear energy initially increases carbon damages. Simultaneously, it decreases at the later stages of atomic energy expansion; thus, nuclear power growth is imperative for long-term sustainable development. A positive relationship is found between carbon pricing and carbon damage, while a negative relationship is between fossil fuel combustion and carbon damage across countries. The results conclude that expansion in nuclear energy would help reduce the cost of carbon pollution to achieve environmental sustainability agenda across countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12966-yDOI Listing
July 2021

Demographic, psychological, and environmental factors affecting student's health during the COVID-19 pandemic: on the rocks.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jun 19;28(24):31596-31606. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Management, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading exponentially, increasing fear, depression, and other mental health disorders in the general public. Pakistan's economy is suffered mainly by the novel coronavirus. The massive healthcare expenditures bring inadequacy to manage COVID-19. The study explored the effects of coronavirus fear among the students who remain in their homes due to educational institutions' closure. The study results show that female students mostly fear the coronavirus pandemic compared to their male counterparts that negatively impact their health. The "age" of the students and "household size" positively impact students' health, while the student's existing "healthcare profile" is not competitive enough to escape from the deadly coronavirus. The "knowledge" for the coronavirus pandemic and its prevention guidelines is the only solution to contain coronavirus. Simultaneously, "ignorance" is the foremost factor that could be more dangerous to spread coronavirus among the students; besides the COVID-19 pandemic, students and general public health mainly suffered from environmental pollution. The current epidemic also exacerbated environmental concerns among students isolated in their homes, and their outdoor activities are primarily limited. Hence, the student's quality of life is exposed mainly to environmental pollution over time. The "healthcare expenditures" and "government support" both are not competitive enough to control novel coronavirus. Thus, it required more sustainable strategic policies and national unity to controlled coronavirus with firm conviction and provincial synchronization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12991-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895510PMC
June 2021

A comparative study on the effects of selected pesticides on hemato-biochemistry and tissue histology of freshwater fish (Hamilton, 1822).

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Jan 2;28(1):603-611. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Zoology, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the comparative effects of pesticides Chlorfenapyr, Dimethoate and Acetamiprid on the health of under long term exposure. Eighty were divided in four equal groups; one control and three treated groups. The blood was collected from both control and treated groups at intervals of 10th, 20th and 30th days for hemato-biochemistry and histopathological alterations. The result indicates significant difference (P < 0.05) in RBCs, Hb, PCV and MCHC whereas elevation in WBCs and Platelets counts were recorded. In 10th day sampling, MCV value of Dimethoate and Acetamiprid treatment had no difference in comparison with the control group, however it is significantly increased (P < 0.05) in rest of sampling. The MCH value of exposed fish showed significant increased (P < 0.05) after 20th and 30th days for Chlorfenapyr and after 30th days for Acetamiprid exposure while insignificantly increased for rest of sampling. It was also found that these pesticides significantly decrease (p < 0.05) the T3 and T4 levels while increase in the TSH, cortical, ALP, AST, ALT and LDH levels in the serum of the treated fishes in contrast to control group. Similarly, histopathological analysis of gills and liver showed significant alterations in all the treated groups. Toxicity trends of these pesticides was ranked as Chlorfenapyr > Acetamiprid > Dimethoate. It is concluded that indiscriminate use of such pesticides poses a noxious threat to non-target organisms, harm the ecosystems and jeopardizes human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.10.049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783810PMC
January 2021

The role of information and communication technologies in mitigating carbon emissions: evidence from panel quantile regression.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 May 6;28(17):21065-21084. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Management, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

The objective of the study is to analyze the dynamic linkages between technology factors and carbon emission in a panel of 26 selected European countries from 2000 to 2017. The results of the panel fixed-effect regression model show the monotonic increasing function between agriculture technology and carbon emissions. In contrast, panel quantile regression confirmed the inverted U-shaped 'Agriculture Technology Kuznets curve (ATKC)' of carbon emissions at 30th quantile distribution to 80th quantile distribution with the turning points of 12,60,000 tractors to 9,68,000 tractors, respectively. The results further exhibit the negative relationship between high-technology exports and carbon emissions, as high-technology exports have a positive impact on environmental quality in order to reduce carbon emissions across countries. The relationship between ICT goods exports and carbon emissions is complimentary, while R&D expenditures have a negative relationship with carbon emissions in a given period. The study substantiates the 'pollution haven hypothesis (PHH)' that is controlled by trade liberalization policies. The telephone and mobile penetrations have a differential impact on carbon emissions in both of the prescribed statistical techniques, which needs fair economic policies in order to delimit carbon emissions through green ICT infrastructure. The results further exhibit the 'material footprint' that is visible at the earlier stages of economic development while it is substantially decreasing at the later stages to verify 'environmental Kuznets curve (EKC)' hypothesis with a turning point of US$45,700. Finally, the study shows the positive relationship between industry value-added and carbon emissions that sabotaged the process of green development across countries. The study concludes that green ICT infrastructure is imperative for sustainable production and consumption, and climate change protection with cleaner production techniques and environmental regulations that reshape the international policies towards sustained growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12114-yDOI Listing
May 2021

Identifying the Potential Causes, Consequences, and Prevention of Communicable Diseases (Including COVID-19).

Biomed Res Int 2020 2;2020:8894006. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Management, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

Communicable and noncommunicable diseases cause millions of deaths every year, increased billions of healthcare expenditures, and consequently increase trillions of economic losses at a global scale. This study more focused on the prevalence of communicable diseases, including COVID-19 that is an emerging pandemic, which affects the global economy. The objective of the study is to examine the impact of population density, lack of sanitation facilities, chemical concentration, fossil fuel combustions, poverty incidence, and healthcare expenditures on communicable diseases including COVID-19. The study covered a large panel of heterogenous countries to assess the relationships between the stated factors by using the robust least square regression, Granger causality test, and innovation accounting matrix. The study used a time series data from 2010 to 2019 for assessing the determinants of communicable diseases, while it is further extended with the current data of 2019-2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the study show that high population density, lack of primary handwashing facilities, chemicals used in manufacturing value-added fossil fuel combustion, and poverty headcount substantially increase communicable diseases. In contrast, population diffusion, low carbon concentration in air, renewable fuels, and healthcare expenditures decrease infectious diseases in a panel of 78 countries. The causal inferences found the bidirectional relationship between communicable diseases and primary handwashing facility, and carbon emissions and poverty headcount, whereas the unidirectional relationship is running from lack of sanitation to infectious diseases, economic growth to carbon emissions, and communicable diseases to fossil fuel combustion across countries. Communicable diseases increase healthcare expenditures and decrease the country's economic growth which is a vital concern of the global economy to confront the outbreak of novel coronavirus through increasing the healthcare budget in national bills and stabilize financial activities at a worldwide scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/8894006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643374PMC
December 2020

The mediating role of ICTs in the relationship between international tourism and environmental degradation: fit as a fiddle.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Nov 12. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Management, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

The United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) proposed 17 effective plans linked with three principal aims, i.e., eradicating poverty, conserving the natural environment, and ensuring prosperity for all. Travel and tourism are the leading stream sector through which all the three stated United Nations themes could be achieved efficiently. The future project of Saudi Arabia's vision is also in line with the United Nation SDGs that much emphasized on tourism expansion, innovation, and sustainable development, which directly supports the SDG-8 (i.e., decent work and economic growth), SDG-9 (i.e., industries, innovation, and infrastructure), SDG-12 (i.e., responsible consumption and production), and SDG-13 (i.e., climate change). The study's objective is to evaluate the country's e-tourism initiatives and green development agenda in the long-run by using the quarterly data from 1995Q1 to 2018Q4. The study employed the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model for estimating the short- and long-run relationship between the variables. Further, the study developed an "e-tourism index" that combines ICT's share in tourism income and expenditures items by principle component matrix (PCM). The results show that oil rents, ores and metal exports, and railways goods transportation depleted natural resources, while ICT's share in energy demand, inbound tourism, and trade openness conserve natural resources via the adoption of advanced technologies, eco-tourism knowledge, and green technology imports in a country. The results confirmed the U-shaped relationship between the country's per capita income and natural resource depletion in a given period. The positive relationship (negative impact) of air transportation freight and trade openness with carbon emissions is evident in the short-run; however, the result is insignificantly determined in the long-run. The industry value-added and ICT's share in energy demand substantially delimit carbon emissions through cleaner production techniques and green innovation. The U-shaped relationship in the short- and flat relationship in the long-run is found for carbon-growth nexus. In the long-run, inbound tourism has a positive (negative impact) relationship with carbon emissions that need sustainable tourism policies to delimit carbon emissions. The air-railways passengers carried and trade openness is the main antecedents that influenced fossil fuel energy consumption in the short- and long-run, while in the long-run, tourism income, ICT's share in energy demand, and industry value-added delimit fossil fuel combustion. The study confirmed the inverted U-shaped relationship between carbon emissions and per capita income in a country. The e-tourism index positively influences the country's economic growth, mobile share in the energy demand, industry value-added, and railways goods transportation. In the long-run, the mobile share in energy demand and railways goods transported increase while air transport freight decreases economic growth. Finally, the e-tourism index is positively influenced by industrial value-added and ICT's share in fossil fuel energy demand. Simultaneously, air transportation passengers carried and ICT's share in carbon emissions negatively affected the e-tourism index in a country. The study concludes that Saudi Arabia's vision 2030 of e-tourism and green sustainable development could be achieved by promoting green ICTs, cleaner production technologies, sustainable consumption and production, tight environmental regulations, and green travel and tourism infrastructure, which ultimately will support the Saudi's vision realization programs towards the country's prosperity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10954-2DOI Listing
November 2020

Communicable Diseases (Including COVID-19)-Induced Global Depression: Caused by Inadequate Healthcare Expenditures, Population Density, and Mass Panic.

Front Public Health 2020 18;8:398. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Economics, University of Haripur, Haripur, Pakistan.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading at an enormous rate and has caused deaths beyond expectations due to a variety of reasons. These include: (i) inadequate healthcare spending causing, for instance, a shortage of protective equipment, testing swabs, masks, surgical gloves, gowns, etc.; (ii) a high population density that causes close physical contact among community members who reside in compact places, hence they are more likely to be exposed to communicable diseases, including coronavirus; and (iii) mass panic due to the fear of experiencing the loss of loved ones, lockdown, and shortage of food. In a given scenario, the study focused on the following key variables: communicable diseases, healthcare expenditures, population density, poverty, economic growth, and COVID-19 dummy variable in a panel of 76 selected countries from 2010 through 2019. The results show that the impact of communicable diseases on economic growth is positive because the infected countries get a reap of economic benefits from other countries in the form of healthcare technologies, knowledge transfers, cash transfers, international loans, aid, etc., to get rid of the diseases. However, the case is different with COVID-19 as it has seized the whole world together in a much shorter period of time and no other countries are able to help others in terms of funding loans, healthcare facilities, or technology transfers. Thus, the impact of COVID-19 in the given study is negatively impacting countries' economic growth that converts into a global depression. The high incidence of poverty and social closeness increases more vulnerable conditions that spread coronavirus across countries. The momentous increase in healthcare expenditures put a burden on countries' national healthcare bills that stretch the depression phase-out of the boundary. The forecasting relationship suggested the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy would last the next 10 years. Unified global healthcare policies, physical distancing, smart lockdowns, and meeting food challenges are largely required to combat the coronavirus pandemic and escape from global depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00398DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7461953PMC
May 2021

The impacts of COVID-19 measures on global environment and fertility rate: double coincidence.

Air Qual Atmos Health 2020 Jul 11:1-10. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Department of Economics, University of Wah, Quaid Avenue, Wah Cantt, Pakistan.

The study aims to examine the effects of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) measures on global environment and fertility rate by using the data of 1980 to 2019. The results show that communicable diseases including COVID-19 measures decrease carbon emissions and increase the chances of fertility rates in an account of city-wide lockdown. The knowledge spillover substantially decreases carbon emissions, while high energy demand increases carbon emissions. Poverty incidence increases fertility rate in the short-run; however, in the long-run, the result only supported with vulnerable employment and food prices that lead to increase fertility rates worldwide. The study concludes that besides some high negative externalities associated with COVID-19 pandemic in the form of increasing death tolls and rising healthcare costs, the global world should have to know how to direct high mass carbon emissions and population growth through acceptance of preventive measures, which would be helpful to contain coronavirus pandemic at a global scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11869-020-00865-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7353826PMC
July 2020

Social and administrative issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan: better late than never.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Sep 9;27(27):34567-34573. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Department of Economics, University of Wah, Quaid Avenue, Wah Cantt, Pakistan.

The study critically reviewed Pakistan's provincial updates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and discussed the current challenges faced by the government in a given context. The coronavirus-associated death tolls have been increasing rapidly in a country. The provincial status of confirmed cases of coronavirus is higher in Punjab, followed by the Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), and Balochistan. The case fatality ratio shows that KPK has a higher ratio, i.e., 5.11%, followed by the Punjab, i.e., 1.82%; Sindh, i.e., 1.80%; Balochistan, i.e., 1.28%; Gilgit-Baltistan, i.e., 0.71%; and Federal territory, i.e., 0.66%. The country has a less testing capacity to identify more suspected coronavirus patients. The study calculated that if we increase five times our testing capacity from the current date, the total registered cases will be reached to 137,370 and death tolls will increase up to 3090. It is highly needed to increase testing capacity across Pakistan in order to minimize the outbreak of coronavirus. The provincial government should follow the Federal Government instructions to contain coronavirus by increasing testing capacities, tracing suspected patients, smart lockdowns, emergency relief to the poor, and vigilant monitoring system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10008-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7347047PMC
September 2020

Does communicable diseases (including COVID-19) may increase global poverty risk? A cloud on the horizon.

Environ Res 2020 08 15;187:109668. Epub 2020 May 15.

Institute of Business Research, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, 59C Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; Department of Economics, University of Wah, Quaid Avenue, Wah Cantt, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Coronavirus epidemic can push millions of people in poverty. The shortage of healthcare resources, lack of sanitation, and population compactness leads to an increase in communicable diseases, which may increase millions of people add in a vicious cycle of poverty. The study used the number of factors that affect poverty incidence in a panel of 76 countries for a period of 2010-2019. The dynamic panel GMM estimates show that the causes of death by communicable diseases, chemical-induced carbon and fossil fuel combustion, and lack of access to basic hand washing facilities menace to increase poverty headcounts, whereas, an increase in healthcare expenditures substantially decreases poverty headcounts across countries. Further, the results show the U-shaped relationship between economic growth and poverty headcounts, as economic growth first decreases and later increase poverty headcount due to rising healthcare disparities among nations. The causality estimates show that lack of access to basic amenities lead to increase of communicable diseases including COVID-19 whereas chemical-induced carbon and fossil fuel emissions continue to increase healthcare expenditures and economic growth in a panel of selected countries. The rising healthcare disparities, regional conflicts, and public debt burden further 'hold in the hand' of communicable diseases that push millions of people in the poverty trap.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109668DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7228701PMC
August 2020

Emerging Applications of Porphyrins and Metalloporphyrins in Biomedicine and Diagnostic Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Biosensors (Basel) 2018 Oct 19;8(4). Epub 2018 Oct 19.

Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan.

In recent years, scientific advancements have constantly increased at a significant rate in the field of biomedical science. Keeping this in view, the application of porphyrins and metalloporphyrins in the field of biomedical science is gaining substantial importance. Porphyrins are the most widely studied tetrapyrrole-based compounds because of their important roles in vital biological processes. The cavity of porphyrins containing four pyrrolic nitrogens is well suited for the binding majority of metal ions to form metalloporphyrins. Porphyrins and metalloporphyrins possess peculiar photochemical, photophysical, and photoredox properties which are tunable through structural modifications. Their beneficial photophysical properties, such as the long wavelength of emission and absorption, high singlet oxygen quantum yield, and low in vivo toxicity, have drawn scientists' interest to discover new dimensions in the biomedical field. Applications of porphyrins and metalloporphyrins have been pursued in the perspective of contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer, bio-imaging, and other biomedical applications. This review discusses photophysics and the photochemistry of porphyrins and their metal complexes. Secondly, it explains the current developments and mode of action for contrast agents for MRI. Moreover, the application of porphyrin and metalloporphyrin-based molecules as a photosensitizer in PDT of cancer, the mechanism of the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), factors that determine the efficiency of PDT, and the developments to improve this technology are delineated. The last part explores the most recent research and developments on metalloporphyrin-based materials in bio-imaging, drug delivery, and the determination of ferrochelatase in bone marrow indicating their prospective clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/bios8040095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6316340PMC
October 2018

Graphical dataset on important medicinal plants used for curing dental issues in Manoor Valley, Mansehra, Pakistan.

Data Brief 2016 Dec 15;9:1028-1033. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

Department of Botany, Hazara University, Mansehra 21300, KP, Pakistan.

The graphical dataset in this paper is related to the research article entitled " (I.U. Rahman, F. Ijaz, Z. Iqbal, A. Afzal, N. Ali, M. Afzal, M.A. Khan, S. Muhammad, G. Qadir, M. Asif, 2016) [1]. This article describes how the local community of Manoor Valley practices cultural / traditional knowledge for dental problems. For the recorded data of 25 medicinal plants, six quantitative ethnomedicinal statistical approaches / equations were used. Out of these indices, four were used to measure the most imported and cited medicinal plant species while two for the comparative analysis to evaluate the novelty of work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2016.11.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5123063PMC
December 2016

A novel survey of the ethno medicinal knowledge of dental problems in Manoor Valley (Northern Himalaya), Pakistan.

J Ethnopharmacol 2016 Dec 26;194:877-894. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Department of Botany, Hazara University, Mansehra 21300, Pakistan.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: In the study area, the traditional knowledge and cultural practices of utilizing medicinal plants in the human healthcare is primarily restricted to the old age members of the community, while younger generation is mostly unaware of the natural wealth usage.

Aim Of The Study: We provide the first ever ethno medicinal insights into the management of dental disorders in Pakistan. The prime objective of the study was to explore novel knowledge of these local and remote community members and share it with rest of the world in documented form.

Materials And Methods: Field surveys were arranged for collection and documentation of medicinal plants of Manoor valley during 2015. Total 71 local inhabitants were interviewed randomly through questionnaire. The data obtained were quantitatively analyzed using the use value (UVi), relative frequency citations (RFCs), fidelity level index (FL%) and consensus index (CI%). For novel uses all plants were thoroughly checked with previously published articles on the same disorder and analyzed through Jaccard index (JI) and Sorensen's similarity index (QS). The collected specimens after confirmation were submitted to the Herbarium, Department of Botany, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan (HUP).

Results: In present study 25 plants belonging to 17 families are reported, these plants were used commonly as ethno medicine. There were herbs (64%), shrubs (20%) and trees (16%) whereas, Lamiaceae with 4 species was the leading family. Majority of medicinal plant species were used in treatment of toothache (38%), wound healing (19%), gum infections (16%) whereas and lowest percentage of species were used for mouth ulcer as well as teeth powder (3%). Leaves were the most widely part used plant part in the treatment of different diseases (36%). Dominated medicinal plants with high used values were Juglans regia (UVi=0.94), Rumex dentatus (0.89) and Indigofera heterantha (0.88). Based on the RFC values, the most valuable and cited medicinal plant species used by the traditional drivers are Juglans regia having (RFCs=0.69) and Rumex dentatus (0.58). CI results show that most respondents percentage was for Juglans regia having CI%=69%, followed by Rumex dentatus (57.7%). Medicinal plants with high fidelity level and reported for one dental disorder were Berberis lycium, Geranium wallichianum, Lathyrus aphaca, Platanus orientalis, Sedum spp. and Urtica dioica for toothache. Further, new medicinal uses of Abies pindrow, Ajuga integrifolia, Berberis lycium, Urtica dioica, Indigofera heterantha were recorded for the first time from Pakistan and Astragalus grahamianus, Corydalis cornuta, Prunella vulgaris, Ranunculus muricatus, Rumex hastatus, Stellaria media, Tagetes minuta, Taraxacum officinale and Lathyrus aphaca, across the world for the current reported medicinal uses. All mentioned plant species are reported for the first time ever for dental disorders from Manoor Valley. Nonetheless, this is a novel study as no single ethno medicinal study on dental disorder up-till now has been reported from Pakistan.

Conclusion: The present study is the first ever documentation of ethno medicinal practices aiming at the dental disorders in Pakistan, which resulted in 64% of medicinal uses new claims. So, the reported species of remote valley should be further evaluated for proper experimentation and pharmacological activities to authenticate their current traditional usage. Field observation revealed vegetation of the area was generally threatened due to its unwise use by the local communities. Trends like deforestation, over grazing, habitat fragmentation and introduction of the exotic taxa were the visible threats. So conservation of such an important natural God gifted treasure is mandatory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2016.10.068DOI Listing
December 2016

The challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution through energy sources: evidence from a panel of developed countries.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2014 Jun 4;21(12):7425-35. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

College of Public Administration, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), 1037, Luoyu Road, Wuhan, People's Republic of China,

The objective of the study is to investigate the long-run relationship between climatic factors (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural methane emissions, and industrial nitrous oxide emission), air pollution (i.e., carbon dioxide emissions), and energy sources (i.e., nuclear energy; oil, gas, and coal energy; and fossil fuel energy) in the panel of 35 developed countries (including EU-15, new EU member states, G-7, and other countries) over a period of 1975-2012. In order to achieve this objective, the present study uses sophisticated panel econometric techniques including panel cointegration, panel fully modified OLS (FMOLS), and dynamic OLS (DOLS). The results show that there is a long-run relationship between the variables. Nuclear energy reduces greenhouse gases and carbon emissions; however, the other emissions, i.e., agricultural methane emissions and industrial nitrous oxide, are still to increase during the study period. Electricity production from oil, gas, and coal sources increases the greenhouse gases and carbon emissions; however, the intensity to increase emissions is far less than the intensity to increase emissions through fossil fuel. Policies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases can simultaneously alter emissions of conventional pollutants that have deleterious effects on human health and the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-2693-2DOI Listing
June 2014
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