Covid-19 kills 54, infects 2,363 in a day: NCOC

The federal and provincial government have been offered the opportunity to buy the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for $6-7 by a Pakistani importer

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan recorded 54 more deaths in the past 24 hours due to Covid-19, surging the overall death toll to 11,157, said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday.

According to the NCOC, 2,363 fresh infections were reported during the aforementioned period, pushing up the national tally of cases to 527,146. In the past 24 hours, as many as 2,179 patients have recovered from the virus in a day and 2,324 patients are still in critical condition including 27 new cases. The total count of active cases is 35,293. Overall 480,696 people have recovered from the deadly disease so far.

A total of 43,744 tests were conducted across the country during this period, while 7,525,432 samples have been tested thus far.

Meanwhile, over 60 shops, restaurants and stores have been sealed besides imposition of fines by the district administration in Lahore over the violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) against Covid-19 on Thursday.

The district administration has conducted an operation against violators of the SOPs against Covid-19 in different parts of the Punjab capital Lahore. According to details, 65 shops, stores and cafes have been fined up to Rs64,000, whereas the assistant commissioner (AC) sealed eight shops in Model Town tehsil.

AC Shalamar sealed 21 shops and stores and oversaw the imposition fines worth Rs39,000. 19 shops and stores and three restaurants have been sealed by the AC City, whereas 12 shops and two restaurants were sealed by AC Cantt.

Meanwhile, the federal and provincial governments have been offered the opportunity to buy the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for $6-7 by a Pakistani importer if they procure the important drug in bulk. However, Sindh Medical Stores (SMS) has not given a timeframe as to when it would be able to deliver the vaccine to the country.

The SMS was allowed to import the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine in Pakistan by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) on Friday last. The approval was given on the recommendations of an experts panel that asked DRAP to give emergency use authorisation to the British-Swedish multinational company’s AZD-1222 vaccine in the country.

“After getting the emergency use authorisation and permission from the DRAP to import the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine in Pakistan, we have offered to provide it for USD 6-7 per dose to the federal and provincial governments. We, however, don’t know when we would be able to get hold of the first consignment of the vaccine as it has been already purchased by the several countries of the world,” said SMS official Usman Ghani..

The official shared that SMS will be able to provide the British company’s vaccine $6-7 per dose, making it Rs1,000 to 1,200 per dose if the government agrees to buy 30 to 50 million doses. “For the private sector and institutions, we have offered to provide it for Rs2,000 to Rs2,500 per dose if they order 10,000 or more doses. But it should be very clear that we would only be providing the vaccine to reputed institutions like Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Shaukat Khanum hospital and others,” Usman Ghani added.

Ghani said that he could not share the exact date of delivery as AstraZeneca was supplying it to other countries which had already booked and paid for the vaccine in advance.

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