Two more lawmakers with virus die in Pakistan as new cases spike

A man wearing a protective face mask, walks past shops at a market, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Karachi, Pakistan June 1, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 03 June 2020

Two more lawmakers with virus die in Pakistan as new cases spike

  • Critics accuse government of easing restrictions when stricter lockdown was needed 
  • Pakistan has recorded a total of 76,512 confirmed cases and 1,688 deaths since February

KARACHI:  Two Pakistani lawmakers have died after testing positive for the coronavirus amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Officials said Tuesday that Munir Khan Orakzai, a lawmaker in the lower house of parliament, died in northwest Pakistan. They said a minister in the southern Sindh province, Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, died at a hospital in the port city of Karachi.
Their deaths came weeks after the first virus-related death of a lawmaker in Pakistan took place in the eastern city of Lahore.
Pakistan on Tuesday reported 78 deaths in the past 24 hours from the country’s outbreak.
Critics blame Prime Minister Imran Khan for an increase in deaths and infections. They accuse him of easing restrictions last month at a time when there was a need to enforce a stricter lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
Pakistan has recorded a total of 76,512 confirmed cases and 1,688 deaths since February.


Pakistan authorizes 'emergency use' of COVID-19 vaccine developed in Britain

Updated 2 min 4 sec ago

Pakistan authorizes 'emergency use' of COVID-19 vaccine developed in Britain

  • The vaccine has been approved by the British Medicine and Healthcare Product Regulatory Authority
  • Unlike the coronavirus vaccines prepared by US companies, it can also be stored in ordinary refrigerators

KARACHI: Pakistan has allowed the emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and a Swedish multinational pharma company Astrazeneca, said the prime minister’s adviser on health, Dr. Faisal Sultan, while talking to Arab News on Saturday. 

“The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan [DRAP] has authorized the emergency use of Astrazeneca's AZD1222 to deal with COVID-19 in Pakistan,” the country’s health chief informed. 

The vaccine has also been approved by the British Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority and is said to be effective for people of all ages. 

Unlike the coronavirus vaccines prepared by some US companies, it can be easily stored in ordinary refrigerators. 

According to media reports, a Karachi-based pharmaceutical company, which has applied for registration with DRAP, will import the vaccine for the private sector, though its prices will be fixed by the government.