COVID Watch | 19th January 2021

Sinopharm second vaccine after Oxford-AstraZeneca to be approved by DRAP for emergency use; KP health department resumes on-campus randomized testing of teachers, students and school staff; lockdowns imposed in 17 areas of Lahore and three areas in Gujranwala and Wazirabad tehsils.

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COVID Watch

DRAP approves Sinopharm for emergency use

Sinopharm becomes second vaccine after Oxford-AstraZeneca to be approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) for emergency use in Pakistan. Per the federal government’s vaccination plan, only frontline healthcare workers will be inoculated in the first phase. Pakistan is expected to receive 1.2 million vials from the Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical firm.

Sinopharm was the first to complete its clinical trials in Pakistan, which saw about 18,000 volunteers receive the drug. So far, Sinopharm has reported no adverse side effects during its testing phase.

Randomised testing resumes in KP schools

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health authorities have begun to once again conduct randomized testing of teachers, students and school staff as on-campus classes for grade one to nine students officially resumed on Monday, January 18. Schools have been directed to submit weekly reports which will be forwarded to the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC). Classes may be sealed for up to two days

If positivity levels are found to be nominal, on-campus classes for primary, middle and university students may also resume.

Lockdowns imposed in Lahore and Gujranwala hotspot areas

The Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department on Monday imposed smart lockdowns in 20 areas of two cities after registering a spike in cases. 17 localities in Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Town, Samanabad, Cantonment and Ravi Town have been restricted till January 25, and three areas in Gujranwala and Wazirabad tehsils are under lockdown till January 29.

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