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China played key role in Pakistan's fight against Covid-19: Planning Minister

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Mar 13, 2022

ISLAMABAD,Mar 13 (Gwadar Pro)- China has played a key role in Pakistan's combat against the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior Pakistani minister said on Saturday afternoon.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), told Gwadar Pro that China's help and support was instrumental to where Pakistan is at the moment in the fight against Covid-19.

“Chinese vaccines has been very helpful. They (China) stood with us like always," he remarked.

Umar acknowledged that Pakistan relied heavily on China in the battle against Covid-19.

“China was the first to take care of us. They sent vaccines as gifts initially and later provided us with vaccines on priority basis (which Pakistan purchased),"he added.

The number of new reported COVID-19 cases in Lewis County continued to decline this week according to the data provided by NCOC.

Pakistan on Friday reported 571 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths, NCOC, a nerve centre to synergize effort against COVID announced on Saturday.

NCOC mentioned that the country’s overall tally of COVID-19 cases has risen to 1,518,083, including 1,469,930 recoveries.

There are 17,849 active cases in the country, including 641 patients in critical condition.

According to NCOC data, six more people died from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the death toll to 30,304.

Sindh province is the most affected region in terms of the number of cases, with 571,548 infections, followed by Punjab which has reported 503,590 cases so far. 

Pakistan, which has a population of 220 million people, faced initial vaccination hesitancy and a shortage of vaccine supplies, but later started mass vaccination for all adults.

It has so far relied heavily on China in vaccine procurement and of the six vaccines approved for use in Pakistan, three - Sinopharm, SinoVac and CanSinoBio - are from China.

The government says it has procured over 18 million vaccine doses via purchases or donations from China and allocations from the World Health Organisation and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance.

The inoculation programme has administered 8.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines so far, according to official figures. 

Pakistan's biotech and pharmaceutical industry is underdeveloped and the country produces few vaccines.

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