NCOC urges provinces to speed up vaccinations amid Omicron threat: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) urged provinces in a morning session on Thursday to speed up the coronavirus vaccination process in light of the rising trend of the Omicron variant around the world and decided to strictly enforce the vaccination regime.
Stating that vaccination is the only method to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 variant, the forum thoroughly discussed the city-wise COVID-19 vaccination process across the country, an NCOC statement said.
According to the statement National Command and Operation Centre said, the COVID-19 positivity ratio, disease prevalence, number of deaths, and new admissions were also discussed in the session.
The vaccination targets for each district have been evaluated, and all-out efforts are being made to engage provinces in meeting the specified immunisation goals, the statement said.
It added that the overall number of vaccines, administration, procurement, and vaccination balance were also discussed during the meeting.
Furthermore, the current state of the oxygen generation and distribution processes throughout the country was also reviewed during the meeting.
With a special emphasis on remote places with logistical challenges, NCOC recommended the development of oxygen plants in various locations throughout the country.
Pakistan has announced a ban on entry from six southern African countries as well as Hong Kong “due to threat” from the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.
A statement by NCOC on Saturday said that a ban on direct or indirect inbound travel from South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, and Eswatini has been imposed, with the countries placed in Category C “with immediate effect”.
GSK says tests show Vir antibody drug works against Omicron
Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline said today that a pre-clinical analysis of the antibody-based COVID-19 therapy it is developing with US partner Vir has indicated that the drug also works against the new Omicron variant.
Further tests will be carried out on the sotrovimab therapy to firm up the results, GSK said in a statement.
Britain’s drug regulator on Thursday, meanwhile approved GSK (GSK.L) and Vir Biotechnology’s (VIR.O) antibody based COVID-19 treatment, Xevudy, for people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing severe disease.