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Convalescent plasma therapy found ineffective in combating South African COVID-19 variant, raising concerns as to the efficacy of existing vaccines in protecting against this new strain; Oxford-AstraZeneca expected to cost Pakistan $6 to $7 per vial, however supply schedule unavailable as India is the sole manufacturer and supplier of the British vaccine in the region; government talks with Sinopharm and CanSinoBIO now at advanced levels
HRCP calls on federal government to provide COVID-19 vaccines to low-income citizens at subsidized rate, terms inoculation of all citizens the government's responsibility; South African coronavirus variant 510Y.V2 found to be 50 percent more contagious than previous virus types; Sindh to raise Rs. 1.5 billion to procure AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines
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.
Lockdowns in five Peshawar localities imposed on Saturday; Pakistan to register more vaccines in the coming weeks, registers Oxford-AstraZeneca with DRAP for emergency use; NCOC head and Federal Minister for Development Asad Umar confirms provinces and private sector can procure DRAP-approved vaccines freely.
SAPM on Health confirms Pakistan yet to place order for vaccines; moderate humidity and cold weather may be accelerating COVID-19 transmission in Karachi; WHO conducts coronavirus management training for healthcare professionals in Peshawar's major hospitals.
A total of 3,097 new COVID cases along with 46 fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours across the country.
With just ten volunteers remaining in clinical trials for Chinese state-owned Sinopharm vaccine, which is reported to have 86% efficacy, the drug is expected to be rolled out to registered frontline healthcare workers in early February.
3,606 patients recover against 2,408 newly reported COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, reducing total active cases in Pakistan to 34,007; KP prison staff and inmates get Rs. 9.7 million worth in PPE, hand sanitizers and soaps per initiative between US Mission to Pakistan and KP prison department to improve prison conditions; an international clinical trail of blood plasma therapy found that the treatment is ineffective for severely ill coronavirus patients.
45 million vaccine vials to be received by Pakistan by the UN's COVAX program will only inoculate just 20% of the population; anti-gen rapid diagnostic testing speeds up COVID-19 detection in the province; presence of new B.1.1.7 strain not found in contacts of traced returnees from the UK in Sindh
48 succumbed to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours while 3,313 recovered against reports of 2,435 fresh infections; the Ministry of National Health Services has stated that the first shipment of coronavirus vaccine will arrive in Pakistan by the end of January; Chinese state-owned SinoPharm vaccine expected to complete its Phase III clinical trials this month as just 1,000 of 18,000 volunteers remain.