Pakistani health officials reported the conclusion of a successful clinical study of Chinese traditional herbal medication for the treatment of COVID-19 on Monday, as the South Asian country enters the fifth wave of the pandemic caused by the Omicron form.
Jinhua Qinggan Granules (JHQG), a Chinese drug developed by Juxiechang (Beijing) pharmaceutical Co Ltd, is already being utilized in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in China.
“Because it has been tried on individuals with different versions of COVID-19, we expect it to be beneficial on Omicron as well as other variants,” said Professor Iqbal Chaudhry, head of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS), where the studies were done.
The trials were conducted on 300 patients who were treated at home, and would work on mild to moderate COVID-19 cases, Dr Raza Shah, principal investigator in the trials, told reporters, adding that the efficacy rate was around 82.67%.
The trials were approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan.
Pakistan reported 4,340 COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest recorded in a 24-hour period in three months. Karachi, the country’s largest city, recorded a positivity rate – the percentage of tests coming back positive – of 39.39% at the weekend, the highest so far.
“In the last seven days, COVID cases in Pakistan have increased by 170% while deaths have also increased by 62%,” the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), which is overseeing the pandemic response, said in a tweet on Monday.