Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan on Thursday said that a thorough testing procedure was adopted before the release of COVID-19 vaccine CanSino at the National Institute of Health (NIH). In a briefing to the members of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, chaired by Dr Muhammad Humayun Mohmand, he said that as many as 24 tests were conducted to check all aspects of the vaccine to make it safe for people. He said that one trial of CanSino was also conducted in Pakistan and people had participated in this trial with their own choice. He said that the raw material of CanSino was obtained from China while the doses and packaging were prepared in Pakistan. He said that National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has data of different variants of COVID-19. He added a detailed investigation was conducted to observe various variants at the laboratory. He made it clear that hospitals don’t have any data of COVID-19 variants. He added delta variant cases were reported in Islamabad and Karachi while South African variant was also reported in Karachi. Dr Faisal Sultan said that the delta variant is also spreading locally, however, there were no exact numbers of this variant, he added. He said that the results to show the detection of variants were shared by the National Institute of Health (NIH) of whole-genome sequencing of SARS CoV-2 samples, which were collected weekly. He added presently it was not possible to conduct daily whole-genome sequencing. He said that as per protocols, contact tracing of all the cases was in progress by the Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division and District Health Office (DHO) Islamabad. The meeting was informed that continued detection of global strains highlights the ongoing need for observation of guidelines, usage of masks, and the need for vaccination.