COVID Watch | September 23rd 2020

--Phase III clinical trials of potential Coronavirus vaccine by Chinese pharma firm CanSinoBIO launched in Pakistan --SAPM on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan states an increase in COVID-19 cases since the reopening of schools negligible.


Chinese vaccine enters Phase III trials

Phase III clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by CanSinoBIO, a Chinese pharmaceutical firm, have been launched in Pakistan.

This was revealed by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umer at the National Command and Operations Center on Tuesday. 8,000 to 10,000 of the target 40,000 sample size will be from Pakistan, and the initial results of the vaccine are expected within the next four to six months.

The trial is being conducted as part of a collaboration between the National Institute of Health, CanSinoBIO, and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China.

Situation stable after reopening of schools

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan stated that there was no significant increase in new COVID-19 cases since the reopening of schools during a press conference with the Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood in Islamabad on Tuesday. He pointed to the daily case positivity rate (the number of new cases against the number of daily tests conducted), which has remained under 2% since mid-June, an indicator that the pandemic situation is still stable in Pakistan.

COVID-19 situation update

Eight deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours – six in Sindh, one in Gilgit-Baltistan and one in Azad Jammu and Kashmir – taking the national death toll to 6,432 at a stable fatality rate of 2.1%. 757 recovered from the virus overnight, and active cases fell from 7,303 on September 21 to 7,070 on Sept 22.