ISLAMABAD: While three foreign pharmaceutical companies have already developed their stakes in Pakistan, two more companies have contacted the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) for registration and phase-III clinical trial of their Covid-19 vaccines.
On Thursday, 2,363 new cases and 54 deaths were reported due to coronavirus in a single day as the number of active cases reached 35,293 across the country.
An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that Russia’s state-owned Sputnik-V company has filed an application seeking permission for emergency use of its vaccine in Pakistan.
“It is a double-dose vaccine and will be administered by syringes,” he said.
“Moreover, Chinese firm Anhui Zheifi Longcom Biopharmaceuticals Company Limited has applied for phase-III clinical trial of its vaccine in Pakistan. The vaccine has been jointly developed by the company and the Institute of Microbiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences,” the official said.
Earlier, three firms had developed their interests in Pakistan as British firm Oxford-AstraZeneca and Chinese firm Sinopharm’s vaccines were registered with Drap. The third firm namely CanSino Biologics is also a Chinese firm and it has been conducting phase-III clinical trial of its vaccine in Pakistan.
54 die of Covid-19 in a single day in Pakistan
“Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine will be received through the international alliance Covax and also through a private channel. Pakistan has pre-booked 1.1 million doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Usman Ghani, a representative of Sindh Medical Store which has got Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine registered with Drap, said the manufacturer had not given any timeline for supplying the vaccine because of priorities set by the Indian government for local preferences.
According to data of the National Command and Operation Centre, as many as 2,363 people were infected with coronavirus and 54 died due to Covid-19 in a single day. While there were 324 ventilators in use of Covid-19 patients, Multan’s 49 per cent, Islamabad’s 40pc, Lahore’s 37pc and Peshawar’s 30pc vents were in use.
Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2021