ISLAMABAD: With the government deciding to purchase 1.1 million doses and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) having started making preparations to administer Covid-19 vaccine to frontline workers, as many as 9,000 healthcare workers in the federal capital have registered themselves for vaccination.
On the other hand, Islamabad reported 150 new patients and three deaths on Sunday.
According to an official, who attends meetings of the NCOC but is not authorised to speak on record, said 9,000 healthcare workers had registered themselves for vaccination.
“As we are continuously getting requests on ‘Sehat Tahaffuz’ helpline 1166, it is expected that the number of healthcare workers wanting to get vaccinated may increase manifold,” he said.
The helpline was launched in February last year by former special assistant to the prime minister on health Dr Zafar Mirza. The healthcare workers have been advised to send their computerised national identity card (CNIC) numbers on the helpline for registration.
Number of requests on helpline 1166 expected to rise; Dr Zia says database being made to ensure all healthcare workers are vaccinated
“There are a large number of health facilities including public sector and private hospitals, labs, health-related organisations and departments in the federal capital. We are therefore expecting the number to increase,” the official said, adding that a dry run of Covid-19 vaccination/immunisation programme was held in Islamabad’s Tarlai area on Jan 8.
All stakeholders, including representatives of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation and district health officers, attended the event in which an exercise on how to administer vaccine to healthcare workers was arranged, he said.
Meanwhile, District Health Officer Dr Zaeem Zia told Dawn that as per policy, the national database was being made to ensure that all healthcare workers were administered the vaccine.
“Since the healthcare workers across the world are being vaccinated first due to their vulnerability to the virus, it has therefore been decided to adopt a similar practice in Pakistan. A dry run was organised to see if there were any procedural issues or flaws, but fortunately everything went smoothly,” Dr Zia added.
The district health officer said whenever a healthcare worker registered himself/herself on helpline 1166, a code number would be issued to them and informed about the date and centre where they get vaccinated.
He said the National Immunisation Management System, being used for registration, was linked to the National Database and Registration Authority so there was no chance of error or one person being registered at two centres.
“We have been expecting that 20 to 30 centres will be established at public-sector hospitals, rural health centres and some private places, but the number can increase as we do not want to create a rush as it raises chances of virus transmission. Each healthcare worker will be allocated a time for the vaccination to avoid chances of the virus spreading. We are ready to vaccinate the healthcare workers and start as soon as the vaccine arrives in Pakistan,” he added.
Dr Zia said the process of vaccinating healthcare workers would prepare the team to undertake the exercise at a mass level.
Replying to a question, he said 5,000 tests were conducted on Saturday, out of which 150 samples were found positive and three deaths were reported in the federal capital.
One person died of Covid-19 on Sunday while 52 more contracted the deadly virus on Sunday.
Tariq Mehmood, 47, a resident of Westridge-III, was taken to Kulsoom International Hospital on Jan 9 but died late Saturday night.
In Rawalpindi district, there were 509 active patients with 107 in hospitals and 402 isolated in their homes. As many as 466 patients are waiting for their results for the last two days.
A total of 44 new cases were detected in Rawalpindi while the remaining eight had arrived from outside the district.
The patients were being treated in hospitals in the garrison city with 18 in Benazir Bhutto Hospital, eight at Fauji Foundation Hospital, 19 in Holy Family Hospital, seven in Red Crescent Hospital, 38 in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology, two in Begum Akhtar Rukhsana Memorial Trust Hospital and one in Hearts International Hospital.
As many as 20 patients are on ventilators, 27 required oxygen and 46 are stable.
Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad
Mehmood told Dawn 15,976 people have tested positive for Covid-19 since March 2020 out of whom 13,188 are from Rawalpindi, 1,124 from Attock, 1,124 from Jhelum and 540 from Chakwal.
He said 14,426 patients had been discharged from hospitals after recovering in the four districts and 682 lost their lives.
In Attock, one coronavirus patient breathed his last while nine more got infected on Sunday.
According to health authorities, 75 years old Asia Bano, a resident of Jand Town, succumbed to the virus. Out of the nine confirmed cases, seven were from Attock city and one each from Jand and Hazro.
District Health Authority Chief Executive Dr Jawad Elahi on Sunday confirmed that the tally had reached 1,124 while the number of active patients had surged to 168.
He further said that three suspected Covid-19 patients were being treated at District Headquarters Hospital and their condition was critical.
Responding to a question, Dr Elahi said the number of suspected cases in the district was 22,860 while screening of 26,161 people had so far been carried out, adding that the result of 148 suspected patients was awaited.
He said so far positive 930 patients had recovered from the virus in the district.— Additional reporting by Amjad Iqbal
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2021