COVID Watch | 25th January 2021

Peshawar accounts for half of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's COVID-19 fatalities; Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying states that the Chinese government is coordinating with firms to expedite vaccine exports to Pakistan; US health authorities claims that severe allergic reactions to Moderna's coronavirus vaccine are rare


Half of KP’s COVID-19 deaths recorded in Peshawar

Peshawar accounts for half of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s total COVID-19 fatalities, and has the highest positivity rate in the country at 11.4 percent. The province has so far reported 1,839 virus-related deaths of which 927 occured in Peshawar. On Sunday, January 24, five of seven coronavirus fatalities were in the provincial capital.

Meanwhile, Pakistan suffered 23 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, signalling a downward trend in daily case fatalities. Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported the largest daily provincial death toll with seven casualties each. Sindh followed with four deaths, Azad Jammu and Kashmir two and the Islamabad Capital Territory 1.

1,629 fresh infections emerged across the country in the past 24 hours at a positivity rate of 4.45 percent, while the daily recovery rate was recorded at 91.5 percent as 2,414 managed to beat the infectious disease. Critical cases account for 6.56 percent of total active cases.

Chinese firms to expedite vaccine exports to Pakistan

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying during a briefing stated that the Chinese government is coordinating with pharmaceutical firms to expedite the vaccine exports to Pakistan. She further confirmed that China will be supplying its first batch of vaccines as aid to Pakistan as a goodwill gesture and to strengthen regional and political ties.

US asserts reaction to Moderna vaccine are rare

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Agency (CDC) finds that anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death) after administering Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is a ‘rare event’. Only ten cases of anaphylactic shock have been reported out of 4,041,396 administered doses.

A total of 108 allergic reactions were recorded of which six required hospitalization and four were treated in emergency. According to the CDC study, Moderna poses a 0.00025 percent chance of inducing a severe allergic reaction as compared to 0.00111 percent for Pfizer-BioNTech. Moderna’s vaccine, the authority finds, has an efficacy of 94.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Pfizer has announced that it will donate 40 million vaccine doses through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX programme, which aims to distribute free vaccines to inoculate around 20 percent of poor nations’ populations. Pfizer-BioNTech is the only vaccine so far to be approved by the WHO for emergency use.