Chinese company offers to undertake coronavirus vaccine trials in Pakistan

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AFP/Files

A Chinese company has offered the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad to collaborate to conduct testing a potential coronavirus vaccine in Pakistan.

The Chinese company, Sinopharm, proposed that the clinical trials of its ‘inactive COVID-19 vaccine’ be conducted in Pakistan for the mutual benefit of both countries. 

The pharmaceutical company, in its letter to the NIH, said that “a successful clinical trial in Pakistan will make it one of [the] first few countries for the launch of a COVID-19 vaccine”.

NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Dr Aamer Ikram, speaking to Dawn.com, said that no progress was made so far, albeit, it would be a good thing for Pakistan if the trials would take place.

Dr Ikram said that there were several hurdles before the trials could begin in the country and that prior approval of the board of the ethics was needed, the publication stated.

“In the process, we developed a lot of practical insights that we would like to share with you,” the letter said.

“We will work in close collaboration with [the] NIH clinical trial team during the processing for the success of the clinical trial as this endeavour is of utmost importance for our countries in accordance with the current pandemic situation,” Sinopharm added.

‘Pakistan can conduct 20,000 tests’

Speaking to Geo News, Dr Ikram said that Pakistan’s daily capacity to test COVID-19 had reached “20,000” and that a new policy was being drafted to conduct tests.

“Tests will be conducted under ‘test and trace’ on Friday in different areas,” he said, adding that before this only pilgrims, passengers coming from abroad were being tested.

“As many as 52 laboratories across the country now have the capacity can conduct 20,000 tests per day,” he added.





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