Coronavirus kills 45, infects 2,432 in a day: NCOC

Three patients of UK Covid-19 variant recover; use of AstraZeneca vaccine allowed; smart lockdowns imposed in Peshawar

ISLAMABAD: As many as 45 deaths and 2,432 new infections were caused by coronavirus during the last 24 hours, said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday.

After adding the numbers, the coronavirus death toll in the country has now reached 10,908, with the national tally of cases standing at 516,770.

On the other hand, 2,793 patients recovered from the virus during the last 24 hours, whereas the total number of active cases is 33,763 at present.

Some 2,334 patients are stated to be in critical condition.

Overall, 472,099 people have recovered from the deadly disease. A total of 42,422 tests were conducted across the country on Friday. As many as 7,326,431 samples have been tested so far.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Health Department on Saturday confirmed that the three patients who were infected by the new strain of coronavirus in the UK have now recovered. The said patients had been isolated at a private hospital in Karachi after their arrival in the city on December 29 from the UK. The relatives of the infected persons were tested negative for the new strain of the virus.

VACCINE FOR EMEREGY CASES

Among other developments, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted permission to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (AZD1222) in emergency situations.

AstraZeneca is a British-Sweden joint multinational pharma company, which has developed the vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University.

The vaccine, approved by the British Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority, is said to be effective for people of all age groups and could be stored in home refrigerators. After the approval of the British vaccine from the relevant authority, AZD1222 can be imported to Pakistan.

A Karachi-based pharmaceutical company will import the British vaccine, whereas the price of vaccine for the private sector will be fixed by the government. AstraZeneca applied for registration to the DRAP a couple of days ago through a Pakistani pharmaceutical company, besides submitting data of the clinical trials of the vaccine.

It may be noted that Pakistan had announced to buy 1.2 million doses of the corona vaccine from Sinopharm, a state-run Chinese firm, which is developing two Covid-19 vaccines.

SMART LOCKDOWN

Moreover, the district administration of Peshawar imposed smart lockdown at 6:00pm on Saturday in five areas of the city.

According to a notification issued in Peshawar, the lockdown was imposed in selected areas of Hayatabad, Kohat Road, Warsak Road, and Yakatoot areas due to an increased number of corona cases. The people in the aforesaid areas have been directed to avoid unnecessary movement.

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