Pakistan refuses COVID-19 vaccine preparation; cases go for 12,000

Health advisor Zafar Mirza said in his regular media briefing that there is currently no coronavirus vaccine in Pakistan and that there is no research of any kind going on for its growth. Pakistan explained on Saturday that no vaccine was being planned after news indicated that the country was on the verge of producing it with China's aid, even as coronavirus cases climbed to 12,644. 

Health advisor Zafar Mirza said in his regular media briefing that there is currently no coronavirus vaccine in Pakistan and that there is no research of any kind going on for its growth. "Let me explain that while there are many vaccine-development programs around the world, there is currently no such program in Pakistan," he said.

But he said a Chinese vaccine research firm approached Pakistan and agreed to become a part of clinical trials. "We've asked them for more details," Mirza said. He said a company in Japan had made a similar bid, and Pakistan had asked for precise information. Mirza said 79 percent of all cases of coronavirus were transmitted locally in Pakistan. 

"It's safe to assume our epidemic is now mainly of local transmission," he added. As part of initiatives to reach out to the public, the government has introduced a telemedicine system where, according to Dr. Mirza, physicians, both local and international, will consult patients on coronavirus.
The Ministry of National Health Services announced that when visiting mosques in Ramadan, Pakistan's coronavirus count reached 12,644, as the government asked citizens to obey the official directives. 
Pakistan refuses COVID-19 vaccine preparation; cases go for 12,000

It said three patients died Saturday, bringing the overall toll of death to 256. About 2,755 also recovered from the infection. Punjab's largest province recorded 5,378 incidents, including Sindh 4,232, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 1,793, Balochistan 656, Gilgit-Baltistan 307, Islamabad 223, and Cashmir 55. According to the ministry's results, 138,147 tests have been performed so far including 6,780 within the last 24 hours. It also claimed that in the last 24 hours 785 patients have been identified.

According to an Army statement, China has provided further medical supplies including polymerase chain reaction research sets, surgical masks, all-suite safety gear, N95 facemasks, and ventilators.  Earlier a Chinese expert medical team headed by Major General Huang Qingzhen arrived Friday. The experts will remain for two months in Pakistan to provide guidance. On Friday the government prolonged the lockdown until May 9. While recently, however, Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected total lockdowns.

"When we were looking for a full lockdown without caring for the consequences for the everyday wage earners, the street vendors, the laborers, all facing poverty and starvation for themselves and their communities. Can Allah forgive us our sin of neglecting our poor & needy people, "he tweeted. 
At the onset of Ramzan, President Arif Alvi and Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri visited various mosques in Islamabad to study the precautionary steps taken for the different prayers of Taraweeh. 

The suspension of international flight operations has been extended up to May 15, according to the order of the governor. It said in a statement that the existing requirements as applied to the suspension of international flights reflected in previous orders remain unchanged. Meanwhile, the government finally decided to stop all outsiders from going to Lal Masjid for payers on Friday after several weeks of warnings. 

Dawn reported that a large number of female students belonging to Jamia Hafsa had been called to stay at the mosque one day earlier to counter any police action. Maulana Abdul Aziz, a cleric, had publicly opposed the precautionary guidelines and criticized the guidance on social distancing. In the last four weeks, many cases were brought against him and his bodyguards for displaying guns. 

Moreover, during Taraweeh, the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) called on citizens to obey protective social distancing steps. "Although we need to take the medical advice seriously and stop traveling as far as possible to the mosques, it's better to follow Taraweeh at home," said PUC Chairman Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi in a tweet. 

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