Pakistan records plunge in everyday coronavirus infections

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has recorded a plunge in everyday coronavirus infections and deaths as the country recorded only 98 cases and no fatality during the last 24 hours (Monday), suggested the statistics released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Tuesday morning

According to NIH data, the death toll in the country remained the same at 30,593 while the number of total infections now stood at 1,570,304 after adding the fresh 98 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Monday), another 2,279 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,533,609. As of Tuesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 6,102.

As many as 593,578 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 521,465 in Punjab, 223,745 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 139,248 in Islamabad, 35,956 in Balochistan, 44,279 in Azad Kashmir and 12,033 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,609 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,232 in Sindh, 6,359 in KP, 1,031 in Islamabad, 793 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.

India records 4,417 new Covid cases, 23 deaths

India on Tuesday recorded 4,417 cases of Covid-19, taking the nation’s tally of coronavirus infections to 2,137,268,615. With 23 new deaths, India’s toll from the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 528,030. India’s tally of cured Covid cases has reached 43,886,496 after 6,032 people recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours.

China approves world’s first inhalable Covid-19 vaccine

Chinese drug regulators have approved the world’s first inhalable Covid-19 vaccine, made by Tianjin-based manufacturer CanSino Biologics, boosting the company’s share price by seven percent on Monday.

The National Medical Products Administration gave the go-ahead for the vaccine for emergency use as a booster, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday.

Following the announcement, company shares surged 14 percent on Monday morning before closing 7.1 percent higher than their opening value.

The needle-free vaccine — which can be stored and administered more easily than intramuscular jabs — will be given through a nebuliser, the company said.

“The approval will have a positive impact on the company’s performance if the vaccine is subsequently purchased and used by relevant government agencies,” the statement added.

The company did not offer details on when the adenovirus-vectored vaccine will be made available for public use.

There is no publicly available verified or peer-reviewed data on the efficacy of the new vaccine.

Scientists in several countries including Cuba, Canada and the United States are also trialling inhalable Covid-19 vaccines.

China has so far approved eight other locally manufactured injectable vaccines since 2020.

But the country’s drug administrator is yet to greenlight any foreign vaccines, including mRNA shots produced by Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna that have better efficacy rates compared to other types of vaccines.

China is the only major economy sticking to a zero-Covid policy, disrupting travel and businesses.

Officials across the country are now under pressure to curb local virus flare-ups ahead of a key political meeting next month.

The southern tech hub of Shenzhen, with more than 18 million residents, imposed a weekend lockdown in most parts of the city on Saturday, while more than 21 million people in the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu are undergoing mass testing from Monday through Wednesday.

China has administered over 3.4 billion Covid shots, the National Health Commission said Monday without offering details on the percentage of the population vaccinated.