Number of critical patients drops sharply as Pakistan reports 43 corona cases

NIH data shows three fatalities from Covid-19 with infectivity rate plunging to 0.36: Australia's Covid isolation rules scrapped: Indonesia approves first homegrown Covid-19 vaccine

By: News Desk
Published: 09:37 AM, 30 Sep, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: Representational image.
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The number of critical patients dropped to almost half as Pakistan recorded another 43 coronavirus infections and three deaths during the last 24 hours (Thursday), showed the figures released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Friday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The number of patients in critical care stood at 47 on Friday, almost half of what was reported on the previous day when the number stood at 85.

According to NIH data, the death toll in the country shot up to 30,616 while the number of total infections now stood at 1,572,588 after adding the fresh 43 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Thursday), 11,970 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.36 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 47.

Australia's Covid isolation rules scrapped

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and state and territory leaders agreed people with Covid will no longer be subject to a five-day stay-at-home order, following a meeting at Parliament House.

The changes will come into effect from October 14. The isolation period, however, will still apply to employees in vulnerable settings such as hospital workers and those in aged care.

The decision to get rid of the mandatory isolation period will also mean the end of pandemic leave payments for affected workers, with the payments also ending from October 14.

Some state and territory leaders had urged ahead of national cabinet for an end to mandatory isolation periods. However, the president of the Australian Medical Association Steve Robson earlier today blasted leaders who had advocated for a scrapping of isolation measures.

"People who are pushing for the isolation periods to be cut are not scientifically literate and are putting the public at risk, and they need to understand that," he told the ABC.

"We're seeing a huge upswing in the numbers of Covid cases again. It's coming into holiday season when people would be travelling around the world. "It's a period of significant risk and we're urging caution because we need to protect the health system."

Meanwhile defence force support for the country's aged care sector for Covid is coming to an end. In a joint statement released by Defence Minister Richard Marles and Aged Care Minister Anika Wells, they confirmed the assistance will not be extended beyond today with the winter peak of the coronavirus over.

"We have left no stone unturned tackling the pandemic and supporting the aged care sector throughout this winter," Wells said.

Marles, who is also the deputy prime minister, said the ADF's resources had to be used for other priority areas.

The armed forces were brought in at the start of the pandemic as a surge workforce to help manage outbreaks in aged care homes.

Indonesia approves first homegrown Covid-19 vaccine

Indonesia has approved its first locally developed Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, the head of the country's public health agency said Friday, hailing it as a step toward "the nation's independence in access to medicine".

Jakarta has stressed the importance of developing national vaccines since the beginning of the pandemic but it currently relies on China's Sinovac and the Western-made Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA jabs.

The IndoVac jab, developed by state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma and Texas-based Baylor College of Medicine, can now be used as a primary dose for an unvaccinated or partially vaccinated adult in the world's fourth most-populous country.

"The development... of a domestic vaccine is a pride for us Indonesians as a foundation and as the first step to achieve the nation's independence in access to medicine," head of the national food and drugs agency (BPOM) Penny Lukito said at a press conference Friday.

The medical chief said IndoVac had shown an efficacy rate of 92 percent, while there were no reports of death linked to it in trials and reported side effects were "generally mild".

A clinical study to use it as a booster jab is underway, Lukito said.

The agency also announced it had granted emergency use approval for an mRNA vaccine developed in China, becoming the first country to do so.

The inoculation developed by Walvax Biotechnology will be locally produced in Indonesia, the BPOM chief said.

The homegrown IndoVac jab has been granted a halal certificate, meaning it can be administered in line with the Islamic faith in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

Indonesia became the epicentre of Asia's Covid-19 pandemic in July last year as the Delta variant swept through the country.

Daily cases declined significantly by the end of the year but the spread of Omicron brought confirmed cases back to 30,000 a day.

It has since seen another sharp fall in case numbers and eliminated quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers.

In total, Southeast Asia's largest economy has reported over 6.4 million confirmed cases with nearly 160,000 deaths.

Vaccination rollout has also been relatively slow compared to developed nations, with less than two-thirds of the population of 270 million receiving two jabs.

With inputs from AFP.