ISLAMABAD: After many days of steady registration of coronavirus infections and fatalities, Pakistan during the last 24 hours (Tuesday) recorded a steep rise in Covid-19 deaths.
Pakistan reported nine deaths as compared to just two and 806 coronavirus infections during the last 24 hours (Tuesday), showed the figures released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Wednesday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
As per the NIH data, the death toll in the country now moved up to 30,499 after adding the nine fatalities while the number of total infections now stood at 1,556,445 after adding the fresh 806 cases.
During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), 20,949 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 3.85 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 160.
The maximum positivity ratio during the last 24 hours was recorded in Abbottabad which was at 21.74 percent, followed by Muzaffarabad at 19.23 percent, Swabi 14.29, Bahawalpur 12.50, Lahore 10.41, Mardan 9.72, Gilgit 4.30, Mirpur 4.11, Faisalabad 3.81, Peshawar 3.45, Nowshehra and Sargodha 2.38 and Karachi 2.19 percent.
During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), another 601 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,517,032. As of Wednesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 8,914.
As many as 591,412 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 514,465 in Punjab, 221,521 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 137,589 in Islamabad, 35,821 in Balochistan, 43,731 in Azad Kashmir and 11,906 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
As many as 13,589 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,190 in Sindh, 6,330 in KP, 1,028 in Islamabad, 793 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.
India logs 13,734 new Covid cases
India has recorded a total of 13,734 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall number of Covid-related infections in the country to 4,40,50,009.
The active COVID-19 cases stood at 1,39,792, according to the Health Ministry data.
According to government data, India also reported 34 Covid-related fatalities in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths due to Covid-19 to 5,26,430.
The active cases comprise 1.6 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.5 per cent, the ministry said.
EU signs contract for new Spanish Covid vaccine
The European Commission has signed a contract to allow EU member states to buy up to 250 million doses of a new Covid-19 vaccine developed in Spain, it said Tuesday.
The HIPRA vaccine has yet to be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), but if it gets the green light it would be the eighth to join the EU joint procurement programme.
The Brussels EU executive oversees a joint buying strategy that has secured 4.2 billion Covid vaccine doses so far, underpinning the bloc’s immunisation strategy.
Contracts have already been signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen, BioNtech-Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Valneva, although the latter has suspended production.
The HIPRA vaccine, also known as PHH-1V, is protein-based and intended as a booster shot for adults whose immunity is receding after their first two or three shots.
The EMA has placed it on “rolling review” and is studying the results of laboratory and clinical trials, with a view to possibly authorising its use later this year.
“With Covid-19 infections on the rise in Europe, we need to ensure maximum preparedness as we head into the autumn and winter months,” EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said.
“The HIPRA vaccine adds yet another option to complement our broad vaccine portfolio for our Member States and citizens. An increase in vaccination and boosting is essential over the coming months.”
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, speaking to reporters on a visit to Palma de Mallorca, seized on the contract as a sign that approval was imminent, declaring: “We have finally achieved this vaccine.”
He hailed Brussels’ confidence as a victory for “innovation and the pharmaceutical industry in our country” and for public research funding from the national and Catalan governments.