Pakistan has received 1.2 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine delivered by COVAX to support Government’s efforts to vaccinate high-risk people. COVID19.
global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX.
The World Bank has announced to provide an additional fund of $153 million to Pakistan to support its vaccination program.
In a press release issued on Friday, the international financial institution said that the payment will be made under the Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan (PREP) that was approved in April last year.
“The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved the restructuring of the Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan (PREP) project, originally approved in April 2020, to redeploy $153 million to support the ongoing national vaccine drive in Pakistan.”
The program has been redeployed at the request of the federal government, it said. The project will strengthen the health system’s capacity to implement the vaccination campaign for its prioritized and eligible populations.
“The third wave of COVID-19 emerged in Pakistan in March 2021 and is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“The World Bank remains a committed partner to support Pakistan in addressing this public health crisis, including through vaccination, and providing support to tackle the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.”
Pakistan started its coronavirus vaccination drive on February 2, after receiving the first batch of the SinoPharm vaccine. Since then, the country of over 220 million has administered first doses to over 2.93 million people and has fully vaccinated to nearly 964,000 people or 0.4 % of its population.
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) plans to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of this year.
ISLAMABAD (APP): The production of injections in the country has witnessed 28.07% increase during the first three quarters of the financial year 2020-21 against the output of the same period of last fiscal year.
As many as 1183,119 injections were manufactured during July-March (2020-21) as compared to the production of 923,839 injection manufactured during July-March (2019-20), showing growth of 28.07%, according to official data revealed by PBS.
During the period under review, the production of capsules also increased by 27.72 percent as it surged from 2794,541 units last year to 3569,203 units during 2020-21. The production of liquids / syrups during the period under review rose by 25.34% by going up from the output of 68,781 liters last year to 86,212 liters during current year.
However, the production of tablets decreased from 20,666,548 units last year to 20,380,940 units, showing decline of 1.38 percent while the production of ointments also declined by 9.34 percent, by going down from 2,506 kg to 2,272 kg.
Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the production of injection rose by 13.08 percent, from 122,004 units in March 2020 to 137,961 units in March 2021.
The production of capsules also increased by 30.14 percent by going up from 343,052 units in March 2020 to 446,432 units in March 2021 while the production of liquids/ syrups also increased by 37.77% from the output of 8,679 liters to 11,957 liters.
Similarly, the production of tablets also rose by 0.44 percent from the output of 2367,337 units to 2377,729 units in March 2021 while the production of ointment decreased by 17.34 percent from 296 kg to 245 kg.
Pertaining to the rising spread of COVID-19 in the province, a power plant in Sindh has carried out a successful experiment of making the life-saving gas, on Monday.
A meeting headed by Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah was told that the life-saving oxygen gas was being made at Jamshoro power plant. All the stages of oxygen preparation and testing have been completed successfully, the meeting was told.
Sindh will become the first province that would provide medical oxygen prepared at a power plant to the hospitals.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah said that the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in its report declared the oxygen fit for medical use. He maintained that the power companies can produce oxygen gas by the process of electrolysis.
The CM said that his government will support and encourage the power plant in producing life-saving gas.
Earlier on May 4, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah had announced that the oxygen plant at Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) could be made operational in three months with an amount of Rs 1 billion.
China will invest in human development infrastructure under CPEC by launching Pakistan as a pilot country for the Health Silk Road (HSR), says Pakistan’s Economic Haroon Sharif in an article published by Gwadar Pro.
He recalled in May 24, 2020, Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister said China will work with other countries along the Belt and Road to vigorously promote cooperation on the Health Silk Road (HSR) as after the epidemic, the need for cooperation in the field of public health will increase significantly. China’s commitment to BRI projects remained unchanged.
The article added, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged that a Covid-19 vaccine from China will be made a “global public good”.
Following this, the Chinese government also announced that the vaccines will be made available in an equitable manner and at a fair and reasonable price.
KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with National Engineering Services (NESPAK) for the establishment of the Sindh Forensic Science Laboratory in Karachi.
According to details, 30-acre land has been allocated for the lab at Deh Joreji, Bin Qasim. The possession of the land was also given to the project director.
The establishment of the lab would cost Rs2.66 billion against whereas Rs10 million have already been allocated. The home department through a competitive process has appointed NESPA as its consultant for the project.
The lab, after its establishment, would have the facilities of audio-visual analysis, computer forensic, crime scene and death scene investigation, DNA and serology, forensic photography, narcotics, toxicology, trace chemistry, polygraph, firearms and tool marks, latent fingerprints, pathology, questioned documents and explosive Lab.
Currently, the provincial police have Forensic/DNA facilities in Karachi, Hyderabad and Larkana.
Apart from these facilities, such facilities have been established by the University of Karachi and LUMHS Jamshoro in their premises. The chief minister directed chief secretary Mumtaz Shah to personally look after the process of the establishment of a state-of-art laboratory
The signing ceremony was also attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary P&D Shireen Narejo, Secretary Law Dr Mansoor Rizvi, Special secretary Home Sohail Qureshi, Vice President NESPA Arif Changezi, Principal Architect NESPAK Arif Khan, Principal Engineer NESPA Rashid Hussain and other concerned.
Healthcare manufacturing industry to be set up in PirPatho SEZ in Thatta
May 30, 2021
KARACHI – Healthcare industry being established in new special economic zone in Thatta. The Dynamic Engineering & Automation and Guangdong Kaper Technology Co Ltd have agreed to set up a healthcare industry in one of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being inaugurated by Dynamic SEZ Ltd. The two parties have reached a decision to set up Mask Healthcare Manufacturing Industry in the PirPatho Special Economic Zone situated in District Thatta, 110 km apart from Port Qasim Industrial Zone. The first shipment of the DEA-KAPER Technologies Masks manufacturing machinery arrived at the Karachi Port on May 25, 2021.
The operations of the mask manufacturing industry are expected to begin within a couple of months at the PirPatho Special Economic Zone of Dynamic DEA Ltd. In his statement issued on the occasion, Dynamic Engineering & Automation CEO Owais Mir mentioned that “This is just the beginning of the Industrial revolution of the country. In order to transform from a developing country to a developed one, we need to set up more industries in the country to enhance productivity and increase the exports of the country.”
Pakistan to Receive 1 Million Doses of Pfizer Vaccine
Pakistan is buying 1 million doses of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer, in collaboration with BioNTech, directly from the New York-based pharmaceutical company.
According to details, the first batch of the directly acquired Pfizer vaccine will reach the country in July or August.
A high-ranking official at the Health Ministry has disclosed that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was negotiating with Pfizer for the last couple of months and the company recently confirmed the availability of its vaccine, adding that a bilateral agreement is in an advanced stage at the moment
Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT) acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Aasim Yusuf has proposed the government to impose cancer tax on tobacco products in the upcoming budget to discourage smoking and treat the disease.
Speaking at a digital awareness session, he said that successive governments had initiated different measures to tax the tobacco products and discourage youth from smoking, but the revenue from tobacco tax was not earmarked for improvement of the health sector.
The number of smokers in Pakistan has reached over 29 million while the expenditure on tobacco-related diseases has surpassed Rs615 billion annually. Ironically, prices of cigarettes have virtually not increased in the last four years which experts said were a major cause behind increase in number of smokers in the country.
Dr Yusuf said that around 40 percent of adults seen at the facilities of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust have cancers linked with tobacco-use, adding that the government can build new hospitals with the collection of cancer tax on tobacco products.
He said that it is highly concerning that the tobacco epidemic is shifting to countries with fewer resources like Pakistan.
The tobacco industry is targeting vulnerable population with sophisticated marketing strategies, he said, adding that their tactics interfere with tobacco cessation and burden health systems which is preventable.
Oncologists and public health experts said that tobacco is the largest preventable risk factor for four major non-communicable diseases that are cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes.
Ministry of Law and Justice has already allowed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to start collecting health levy on tobacco products to help boost the revenue and discourage smoking in the youth.
The federal cabinet approved a federal health levy of Rs10 per cigarette in 2019, but it was yet to be implemented.
Country head Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) Malik Imran urged the FBR to enforce the health levy across Pakistan before the upcoming budget as the law ministry had already cleared it.
He said the government should increase tax on tobacco products separately, besides implementing the federal health levy as these measures will help reduce the tobacco-related diseases burden on public and private hospitals, and boost the revenue.