Pakistani authorities evacuate 2,000 from flood-hit areas

An overloaded bus drives through a flooded road caused by heavy monsoon rains, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. Monsoon rains have inundated much of Pakistan, leaving large parts of the southern city of Karachi underwater and causing some deaths. (Fareed Khan/AP)
Updated 23 August 2019

Pakistani authorities evacuate 2,000 from flood-hit areas

  • Rescue services deployed boats and transported people to safety with army help 
  • Under Indus Water Treaty, New Delhi has to share information about rivers flowing into Pakistan 

MULTAN: Pakistani authorities have evacuated about 2,000 people from flood-affected areas after accusing India of opening a dam without warning earlier this week and swelling two rivers in Pakistan.
Pakistani rescue services deployed boats and with the help of the military, transported people to safety from the flooded areas around the Ravi and Indus Rivers.
They say the water, which had come from India’s Sutlej River and Ladakh Dam, was receding Friday. The floodwaters entered Pakistan on Tuesday morning, damaging homes and crops in the region.
Pakistan says that under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty brokered by the World Bank, New Delhi is required to share information with Islamabad about rivers flowing into Pakistan.
Rains often trigger floods in Pakistan and India during monsoon season, which runs from June through September.


China’s Sinopharm ties up with Karachi University to supply coronavirus vaccines to Pakistan

Updated 44 min 55 sec ago

China’s Sinopharm ties up with Karachi University to supply coronavirus vaccines to Pakistan

  • Pakistan would conduct Phase 1 trials and then move rapidly to the final-stage Phase 3 trial, which requires tens of thousands of volunteers
  • Pakistan would receive enough vaccine to cover around a fifth of its population in the initial months of production

ISLAMABAD: State-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group, also known as Sinopharm, has tied up with Pakistan’s Karachi University’s International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences to supply coronavirus vaccines to Pakistan, international media has reported, quoting Pakistani government officials.
The developing world— which often lacks both a pharmaceutical industry to develop, test and produce vaccines and the money to purchase them from elsewhere— has been forced to seek supplies from allies or from international groups attempting to obtain vaccines for poor countries.
China hasn’t been a major vaccine producer globally. It needs to test its Covid-19 vaccines outside its borders, because coronavirus cases in China have dwindled and it is harder to find the population diversity required.
“Pakistan would get the vaccine on a priority basis,” an official involved in forging the agreement told the Wall Street Journal.
Pakistan would conduct Phase 1 trials of the vaccine and then move rapidly to the final-stage Phase 3 trial, which requires tens of thousands of volunteers. If the vaccine is safe and effective, Pakistan would receive enough vaccine to cover around a fifth of its population in the initial months of production, according to Pakistani officials who said financial terms hadn’t yet been worked out.
Pakistan, one of China’s closest allies in the developing world, will receive enough doses early in distribution to vaccinate the most vulnerable among its population of 220 million, including the elderly, health-care workers and people with medical conditions associated with serious cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
About one-fifth of the country’s population could be covered by the allocation, the officials said.
The agreement, among the first China has reached as part of its efforts to test its coronavirus vaccine in populations beyond its borders, comes amid a global competition for access to vaccines that are now entering trials and expected to come to market in coming months.
Negotiations are under way with a second Chinese company to trial its vaccine in Pakistan, officials said.