The numbers: As of Thursday afternoon, the total number of covid-19 cases in Pakistan has risen to 299,855. The virus accounts for 6,365 deaths overall, six of which have been reported in the past 24 hours. 287,950 patients have successfully recovered from the disease. A total of 441 cases have been reported in Pakistan over the last 24 hours. Sindh has reported 131,115 cases, Punjab 97,461, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 36,755, and Balochistan has reported 13,227 cases. The tally for Islamabad Capital Territory stands at 15,804, whereas Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir have reported 3,137 and 2,356 cases respectively. Researchers at the Aga Khan University’s (AKU) also found that 95% of the people who have been infected by covid-19, and tested positive for Covid-19 through blood tests, were asymptomatic.
Educational institutions reopen: The federal government announced a step by step plan for all educational institutions to open. Universities, colleges, and schools will start reopening after September 15. In the first phase, higher education institutions, as well as grades nine to 12 will resume in schools. In the second phase beginning September 23, grades six, seven, and eight will return to school, ensuring implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs). In the final phase, primary schools will be reopened on September 30 if the number of coronavirus cases remains under control.
Vaccine trials: Pakistan, along with some other countries, has agreed to run clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine candidates developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Sinovac Biotech Ltd. The official drug regulatory authority greenlighted the country’s first Phase 3 clinical trial for CanSino’s candidate, Ad5-nCoV, which is being led by the National Institute of Health (NIH) along with pharmaceutical company AJM, the local representative of CanSino.While the prevalence of coronavirus cases in Pakistan is subsiding, this is will not affect the trials of the vaccine. The volunteers who take part in the clinical trials will be recruited from the frontline workers, as they have more chances of exposure. The trial of a leading potential vaccine from AstraZeneca (AZN.L) was stopped due to concerns of side effects in a patient. The World Health Organization (WHO) iterated that the safety of these vaccines should be the first and foremost concern of doctors, patients, and pharmaceuticals.