PESHAWAR: Nine more people died of Covid-19 and 261 new patients were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday as health department claimed to have made elaborate arrangements for vaccination against coronavirus.
“Vaccination against Covid-19 is starting in Pakistan from next week. We have been preparing for the past several weeks and have established vaccination centres in 280 hospitals of the province to be able to inoculate our health workers,” Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra told a news conference here on Sunday.
He said that 2,484 health workers of the province were trained and they were ready to administer the vaccine to people in each and every district. He said that eight centres were set up in as many districts including Peshawar, Mardan, Abbottabad, Swat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat and Nowshera.
The minister said that the vaccine would be given to the frontline health workers in the first phase to safeguard them against the pandemic as they were engaged in diagnosis and management of Covid-19 patients.
Minister urges people to adhere to social distancing measures
“We have already registered 64,113 healthcare workers for vaccination. All arrangements have been made at the 280 vaccination centres. It is the highest number of such centres in any province to keep the vaccine,” he said. He added that at a later stage, they would vaccinate the high-risk groups including elderly people and those with underlying health conditions to ensure their protection against the virus.
The minister said that efforts were afoot to take precautionary measures against the virus alongside treatment of the infected people. However, he requested the people to adhere to social distancing measures, wear face masks and wash their hands to stay safe from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, National Command and Operation Centre has asked all the provinces to ensure protection of the vehicles supplying vaccine to the designated centres. Officials said that NCOC had also sent a letter to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to make sure that the transportation of the vaccine took place in the presence of elaborate security arrangements.
“We have also requested police to accompany our shipments of vaccine to the designated centres and protect our staff engaged in vaccination in the centres,” they said.
Similarly, health department has also arranged cold chain system with refrigerated vehicles and security for vaccine transfers to protect the medicines from heat.
A health department report said that six persons passed away in Peshawar and one each in Swabi, Kohat and Bannu due to coronavirus. The province’s total mortalities rose to 1,906 while the incidence swelled to 67,214 with 261 more cases reported during the last 24 hours.
Peshawar recorded 131 of the newly-diagnosed Covid-19 patients. The report said that 187 more patients recovered taking total tally of the recovered people from the pandemic to 62,385. There are 2,923 active cases in the province.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2021