Pakistan ranks low on list of countries with most tests

Published February 24, 2021
A paramedic wearing protective gear takes a nose-swab sample to be tested for the coronavirus in Karachi. — Reuters/File
A paramedic wearing protective gear takes a nose-swab sample to be tested for the coronavirus in Karachi. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: As Pakis­tan continues to see a fall in Covid-19 cases, a website has placed the country on the 29th position in the list of 30 countries that have conducted the most number of tests per million population (PMP).

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has, meanwhile, recorded 1,050 patients who contracted the virus and 41 deaths over the last 24 hours.

Also, Pakistan is going to hold the first international conference dedicated to Covid-19 vaccine in which principal investigating officers of various vaccines will share their research papers.

In another development, five departments of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) were sealed after 13 employees were found to have contracted the virus over the last one week, with five cases being reported in a day.

According to the website, www.worldometers.info, which maintains global data, Pakistan has carried out 39,136 tests per million population, with Indonesia being the only country having conducted fewer tests — 38,135 tests PMP.

In terms of the most tests per million population, Israel ranks on top with 1,273,050 tests, followed by the United Kingdom which has conducted 1,266,538 tests and the US is on the third position with 1,052,930 tests per million population.

Compared to Pakistan, India has conducted around four times more tests – 152,821 tests PMP, Turkey has carried out 381,953 tests; Iran, 124,687 and Iraq, 162,756 tests.

Similarly, the United Arab Emirates, which is ranked 49th in terms of the most number of cases, has conducted 2,978,906 tests and Denmark, 2,784,399 tests PMP despite being on the 58th position.

Over the last one year, Pakistan has conducted 8.7 million tests overall.

The US has carried out the most number of tests i.e. over 349 million, India with over 212 million tests is ranked second while Russia comes on the third place with over 109 million tests.

Meanwhile, the NCOC data revealed that 1,050 people got infected and 41 lost their lives in a single day.

As many as 250 ventilators were in use across the country while 2,069 patients were hospitalised on Tuesday.

On the other hand, University of Health Sciences (UHS) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Javed Akram told Dawn that the university would start clinical trial of the vaccine of the Chinese company, Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biologic Pharmacy Co, next week.

Earlier, the university had carried out clinical trial of another Chinese firm Cansino’s vaccine in which around 18,000 volunteers took part. The vaccine was later registered by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.

“Around 7,000 volunteers will participate in Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biologic Pharmacy Co’s vaccine trial. Moreover, UHS will host the first international conference dedicated to Covid-19 vaccine on March 12 and 13 in which principal investigating officers will share their research/working papers,” Dr Akram said.

Five PMC depts sealed

After detection of 13 Covid-19 cases in a week and five in a day, the district administration sealed five departments of PMC till further orders.

The departments sealed are Computer IT, Verification Cell, Legal Section, Licensing Department and Admin Department.

PMC Press Coordinator Sarmad Hasan said the departments had been sealed as per directions of the health department.

“However other departments will remain open because the PMC cannot afford to completely shut down the building. Students and medical professionals frequently visit it and we constantly disinfect the building,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2021

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