Govt officials laud China’s assistance, express pride on NIH staff who helped develop vaccine
Pakistan launched on Tuesday its homemade Covid-19 vaccine ‘PakVac’, a week after it announced successfully developing it with the help of China’s CanSino Bio.
Addressing the ceremony, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan said there is always an opportunity to overcome even the most difficult challenges.
“We found our friend China closest to us in overcoming the Covid-19 challenge,” he added.
He said developing a vaccine through raw materials is not an easy task as a lot of hard work goes into maintaining the required standards.
Dr Sultan added that the country must respect the efforts of the staff at the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIH), adding that local production of the vaccine will begin in Pakistan in the coming days.
‘An important day’
National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar termed the day an important one for Pakistan.
“Only nations that focus on increasing their knowledge and have the capacity to translate that knowledge equation into technology progress,” Umar said, adding that today’s achievement was part of the same link.
He said the pandemic was not just a challenge for Pakistan but for the whole world. However, he said thankfully the situation in Pakistan did not turn as grim as in many parts of the world.
Umar added that the NCOC played an important role in managing the pandemic in Pakistan. He said efforts were taken to bring about some immediate changes in the country’s existing hospitals.
According to the minister, health and education were the government’s main focus besides the pandemic.
“The budget for higher education was doubled in just two years, whereas the budget for health was tripled,” he said.
Umar added that, “We have witnessed a huge ‘revolution’ take place in this country right in front of our eyes in just a matter of months.”
Referring to poet Allama Iqbal, the NCOC chief said that Iqbal had known that Pakistan was on its way to become a great country.