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Thursday Apr 09 2020
Web Desk

Drug authority grants permission for clinical trial of plasma therapy on coronavirus patients

Web Desk
SAPM on Health Zafar Mirza. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza on Thursday said that special permission had been granted by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to begin the clinical trials of plasma therapy to treat patients of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan.

Talking to the media in the federal capital, Mirza also announced that the drug regulatory body had allowed drug manufacturers to fast-track the refining of raw materials used to make chloroquine, a drug that health experts believe is partially effective in treating virus patients.

Also read: SC expresses concerns over govt's coronavirus plan, questions Dr Zafar Mirza's qualification

The special assistant for health further revealed that last week he had established the DRAP Expert Committee on ventilators to test locally manufactured medical equipment. “At a great speed they have already produced fast track acceptance test procedure for locally developed mechanical ventilators for COVID-19,” said Mirza. 

Mirza noted that companies manufacturing hand sanitizers had also been asked to comply with international standards or risk being pulled from the market. 

Also read: Coronavirus updates, April 9: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

PM Imran to visit Quetta to assess virus situation, confirmed cases continue to rise

The nationwide tally of confirmed coroanvirus cases rose to 4,344 on Thursday afternoon after five new cases were reported in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. According to AJK health minister, the tally of the confirmed cases in the region now stands at 33. 65 deaths from the novel virus have so far been reported from across the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will travel to Quetta for a one-day visit to review the coronavirus situation in the province on Thursday, said the PM Office. According to the PMO, the premier will be briefed on the steps being taken to stop the spread of the virus in the under-developed province.