The coronavirus claimed 31 more lives while another 1,404 people tested positive for the deadly disease during the past 24 hours across the country, said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday. According to the NCOC, 1,404 new infections surfaced after 34,475 samples were tested during this period. The positivity ratio of Covid-19 cases was recorded at 4.07 percent. The countrywide death toll has jumped to 12,307 while the total number of confirmed cases stands at 563,029. The number of active cases has come down to 25,635 as over 523,000 people have recuperated from the disease. Provincial tally for confirmed coronavirus cases in Punjab reached 163,833 after it recorded 466 fresh cases. At least 11 more patients also succumbed to the virus, taking the total number of Punjab’s fatalities to 5,037. As many as 151,551 people have recovered from the deadly virus in the province so far. Sindh reported at least 251 new coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 253,761. According to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, seven more patients succumbed to the deadly virus as the death toll jumped to 4,219. He further said that 327 patients recovered overnight, taking the total to 235,470. Meanwhile, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted permission to a Chinese company for third phase clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the country. “The clinical trials committee of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted permission to China’s Anhui Zhifei longcom for clinical trials of its vaccine,” sources said. China’s bio-pharmaceutical company, Anhui Zhifei had sought permission for clinical trials in Pakistan in December 2020, sources said. The Chinese pharma company initially, will conduct third phase clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Karachi and Lahore. Anhui Zhifei longcom will conduct its vaccine’s clinical trials in Karachi at a private hospital, while in Lahore at the University of Health Sciences and another private health facility, according to the sources. “In Pakistan 9,000 volunteers will participate in clinical trials of the Anhui Zhifei vaccine,” sources said. According to sources, Anhui Zhifei had prepared its Covid vaccine in May 2020 under the aegis of the Chinese Company of Sciences. The company had conducted the phase I and phase II trials in June 2020, in which the vaccine was found safe and effective against the disease. Around 29,000 volunteers are participating in the third phase of the clinical trials of the vaccine in different countries. Anhui Zhifei has been the second Chinese company holding trials of its vaccine in Pakistan. Earlier, CanSino Bio has completed clinical trials of its vaccine in Pakistan.