Local health authorities on Monday announced the completion of a successful clinical trial of Chinese traditional herbal medicine for treating Covid-19, as Pakistan enters a fifth wave of the pandemic driven by the Omicron variant.
The Chinese medicine, Jinhua Qinggan Granules (JHQG) manufactured by Juxiechang (Beijing) Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, is already being used in the treatment of Covid-19 patients in China.
“Since it was tried on patients with different variants of Covid-19, we expect it to be effective on Omicron as on other variants,” Professor Iqbal Chaudhry, director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS) in Karachi, where trials were conducted, told reporters.
The trials were conducted on 300 patients who were treated at home, and would work on mild to moderate Covid-19 cases, Dr Raza Shah, principal investigator in the trials, told reporters, adding that the efficacy rate was around 82.67 per cent.
The trials were approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.
The country reported 4,340 Covid-19 cases on Monday, the highest recorded in a 24-hour period in three months. Karachi, the country's largest city, recorded a positivity rate — the percentage of tests coming back positive — of 39.39pc at the weekend, the highest so far.
“In the last seven days, Covid cases in Pakistan have increased by 170pc while deaths have also increased by 62pc,” the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), which is overseeing the pandemic response, said in a statement on Monday.