pakistan covid swab testing
A health care worker takes a nasal swab sample from a woman at a COVID-19 testing facility at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has announced that China has promised to provide 500,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine to Pakistan by January 31.

In a video message after a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Qureshi said China offered to airlift the vaccines to Islamabad.

I held a detailed conversation with the Chinese foreign minister in which I “discussed with the Chinese Foreign Minister Pakistan’s requirements,” Qureshi said.

According to the minister, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed him to increase interaction with Beijing “considering the sensitivity of the situation”.

35,293 active cases

Pakistan on Thursday reported 54 deaths and 2,363 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours taking the tally of overall infections to 527,146 and death toll to 11,157.

According to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) Pakistan’s total active cases have surged to 35,293 while there are 2,324 critical cases in the country.

Approval given for vaccine storage

The Islamabad health department has given approval to store the COVID-19 vaccine to be acquired from Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm in the warehouse of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) inside the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other facilities.

The Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) has directed the healthcare facilities of the federal capital to register themselves by Feb 28.