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China delivers another 1 million COVID vaccines to Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan has received another batch of one million doses of coronavirus vaccine from China to help it stem the spread of COVID-19 that has infected over 800,000 people and claimed more than 17,100 lives in the country.

Three planes of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) airlifted from China the consignment of one million Chinese-developed Sinopharm vaccines on Sunday. The aircraft had left for China on Saturday.

An additional two million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will also be transported from China by the national flag carrier on April 29, said PIA Country Manager for China Qadir Bux Sangi.

The new consignment arrives as Pakistan struggles to combat the third wave of the pandemic, which has threatened the earlier gains against the coronavirus when the country succeeded to contain the first two outbreaks.

Last month, Pakistan received the second consignment of half a million doses of coronavirus vaccine from China. Earlier, China donated 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine on February 1, enabling Pakistan to launch its vaccination drive a day later.

Pakistan has imposed smart lockdowns, ramped up vaccination programmes and deployed army personnel to help the civil administration in implementing the SoPs.

The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa imposed a lockdown in the Mardan district for seven days due to an increase in the rate of infection. Several other localities in the country are also under lockdown.Pakistan has administered more than 1.7 million doses of vaccine so far, which is a drop in the ocean for a country with over 220 million population.

Pakistan’s coronavirus tally crossed 800,000 on Monday after 4,825 new cases were detected, while another 70 people succumbed to COVID-19, taking the number of deaths to 17,187, according to the official data.

The Ministry of National Health Services said 4,862 patients were in critical condition and the number of active patients was 89,219.The number of total cases has jumped to 800,452, it said.