China, a true friend


A major Chinese pharmaceutical company has invited the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, to collaborate in conducting clinical trials of its recently developed inactivated vaccine for Covid-19 in Pakistan. The offer was made in a letter sent to NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Dr Aamer Ikram by the General Manager of China Sinopharm International Corp, Li Can, who expressed the hope that “a successful clinical trial in Pakistan will make it one of [the] first few countries for the launch of a Covid-19 vaccine”.
The spread of novel virus has spurred global research efforts aimed at developing an effective vaccine that could save life of the people now and offer shield against future spread of the disease. China not only succeeded in containing the spread of the virus but also left the world behind by developing a vaccine that is ready for clinical trials at a time when experts were projecting that it will take at least one year for any research effort to bear fruits. Sinopharm, a state-owned enterprise, is a reputed and reliable name in China as it produces more than 80pc of the mandatory immunisation needs of China and played a leading role in fighting the Covid-19 crisis in the country. In an environment where other countries of the globe are reluctant to share outcome of their research and development programmes with other members of the international community, it is really a matter of pride that China picked up Pakistan for sharing of information and offering of collaboration in clinical tests. The success of the clinical trials in Pakistan would allow the country to procure the vaccine on a high priority basis, thereby saving lives of the people against the virus. This is practical demonstration of the global collaborative efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and credit for this surely goes to the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, which has been coordinating all such endeavours under the dynamic leadership of Ambassador Yao Jing. Pakistan’s Ministry of Health and NIH leadership also deserve appreciation for enlisting prompt support from China. The latest offer has once again proved that China is a sincere and true friend of Pakistan that can be relied upon during trying times.

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