Packs of Chinese traditional herbal medicine Jinhua Qinggan Granules are displayed during a ceremonyat the Karachi University in Karachi on Monday. Reuters
The Chinese medicine, Jinhua Qinggan Granules (JHQG) manufactured by Juxiechang (Beijing) pharmaceutical Co Ltd, is already being used in treatment of COVID-19 patients in China.
"Since it was tried on patients with different variants of COVID-19, we expect it to be effective on Omicron as on other variants," Professor Iqbal Chaudhry, director of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS) where trials were conducted, told reporters.
The trials were conducted on 300 patients who were treated at home, and would work on mild to moderate COVID-19 cases, Dr Raza Shah, principal investigator in the trials, told reporters, adding that the efficacy rate was around 82.67%. The trials were approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan.
Pakistan reported 4,340 COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest recorded in a 24-hour period in three months. Karachi, the country's largest city, recorded a positivity rate — the percentage of tests coming back positive - of 39.39% at the weekend, the highest so far.
"In the last seven days, COVID cases in Pakistan have increased by 170% while deaths have also increased by 62%," the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), which is overseeing the pandemic response, said in a tweet on Monday.
It is the first time Pakistan has participated in such a trial, which comes amid a string of positive vaccine announcements by Western pharmaceutical companies this month.
The Ministry of Health also announced that 42,818 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given in the past 24 hours. The total number of doses provided up to Friday stands at 21,502,582 with a rate of vaccine distribution of 217.41 doses per 100 people.
"We expect the first 10,000 doses to come on March 25, and 100,000 next month and 200,000 the month after," said Hassan Abbas, an official of AJ Pharma, CanSino's local partner, which will be importing the vaccine.
China has pledged to donate 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine made by the Chinese firm SinoPharm. Two government sources said the first batch would be flown in on Saturday. Pakistan reported 1,563 new coronavirus infections and 74 deaths in the latest 24-hour period.
He was arrested and legal measures were taken against him, and he was referred to the Public Prosecution.
Visitors to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) will have the opportunity to view a valuable set of rare books and manuscripts that date back to ancient times.
The Dubai Criminal Court sentenced a Gulf citizen to three months in jail on charges of laying hold on a vehicle that belonged to his wife after forging the latter’s signature on a registration certificate issued by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).