Pakistan has an effective drug for COVID-19, over 300,000 pieces of which have been exported to China, said an article published by Economic Daily – China Economic Net (CEN) on February 21, which has gotten 5.71 million page views and 38,000 likes.
In nearly 10,000 comments, in addition to a lot of thanks to Pakistani friends for their help, some netizens were interested in the “multinational enterprise” mentioned in the CEN reporter’s article and wanted to know the hero behind the scenes who urgently dispensed the effective drugs at a Bayer — German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company — subsidiary in Pakistan.
On February 20, after noticing that the official Weibo account of Bayer China said it had made an emergency deployment of chloroquine phosphate tablets in Pakistan at the beginning of this month, the CEN reporter quickly contacted to verify the matter.
The official Weibo account of Bayer China confirmed the news and said that the batch of medicines was completed in 24 hours. 200,000 of the 300,000 tablets were “sold” to Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited (GPHL) at zero yuan.
Earlier, Economic Daily reported that on February 5, GPHL first purchased 15,000 tablets of chloroquine phosphate in Pakistan through various channels, and then purchased another 200,000 tablets. The drugs arrived in Guangzhou at 7 pm on February 8.
Data from clinical trials being performed in China has revealed that chloroquine phosphate could help treat the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19.
China National Center for Biotechnology Development deputy head Sun Yanrong said that chloroquine, an anti-malarial medication, was selected after several screening rounds of thousands of existing drugs.
AFP has also verified claims pertaining to the effectiveness of the drug against the virus.
It took less than four days from purchasing in Pakistan to arriving in Guangzhou. In addition to the international and domestic airline time, it is not easy for Pakistan, a country with less developed transport infrastructure that is suffering from a severe locust plague, to urgently collect, transport and cooperate to undertake the fastest international rescue for dispensing the effective drugs to treat COVID-19.
The CEN reporter learned from further interviews that chloroquine phosphate production was suspended in China for 20 years. In order to deliver the first batch of effective drugs successfully, from February 5 to 8, in addition to GPHL and Bayer, there are many more heroes behind the scenes, such as China Southern Airlines and Urumqi Customs.