Govt aims to vaccinate 30m people against Covid-19 by September: PTI

Published February 12, 2021
A health worker receives a dose of Sinopharm's Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Karachi, February 8. — Reuters/File
A health worker receives a dose of Sinopharm's Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Karachi, February 8. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The government is aiming to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating 70 million people against Covid-19 by the end of the current year. About 30 million people will be vaccinated by September.

This was stated by representatives of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) about the ruling party’s policy on vaccination and management of the impact of Covid-19 on education and economy at a session organised by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) at a local hotel on Thursday.

Party’s central joint secretary Mussadiq Ghumman, parliamentary secretary national health services Dr Nausheen Hamid and others attended the session.

According to the draft policy of the party on coronavirus vaccination, the government aims to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating 70 per cent of the population in 2021. Approximately 100 million Pakistanis are eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine as per global guidelines. The government already has secured enough doses to vaccinate 30 million people by September - almost 50pc of the target.

According to the draft policy, the vaccine would be administered free of cost at public health facilities. Criteria have been defined for frontline healthcare workers after consultation with provincial stakeholders, and a Resource Management System (RMS) has been set up so they could be registered through healthcare facilities.

During school closures, the federal government was able to offer digital learning content through ‘TeleSchool’. The content on TeleSchool was provided free of cost by major Edtech partners, including Sabaq Foundation, Taleemabad, The Citizens Foundation, Punjab IT Board, Allama Iqbal Open University and Knowledge Platform. The policy stated that the government had built national consensus and coordination through the platform of Inter-provincial Education Ministers’ Conference and took decisions after consultations.

The policy also stated that to mitigate the adverse effects on the economy, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on March 24 a fiscal stimulus package to support the economy and protect the weak segments of the population.

Other measures to manage the impact of Covid-19 on economy included maintaining low interest rate to stimulate GDP growth and employment, cash transfer to poor women through Kafaalat programme and launching of a poverty alleviation programme via micro loans.

Four die, 123 test positive for Covid-19

Four people lost their lives to Covid-19 in the twin cities while 123 people were diagnosed with the disease on Thursday. Around 25 patients were discharged from hospitals in Rawalpindi.

The positivity rate in the capital stood at 1.9pc while 4,747 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours.

The deceased were identified as Zebun Nisa, 82, a resident of Gulistan Colony. She was taken to Fauji Foundation Hospital on Feb 1 where she died. Zafar Riasat, 58, a resident of Morgah, was admitted in Holy Family Hospital on Feb 10 where he passed away.

Both the patients who died in Islamabad were male aged between 40 and 79 years. Their addresses are still not known.

In Rawalpindi district, there are 210 active patients out of whom 61 are in hospitals and 153 isolated in their homes. A total of 440 patients are waiting for the results of their coronavirus serology.

Out of the newly-detected patients in the district, 26 belong to Rawalpindi city and cantonment areas, including seven from cantonment, 15 from Potohar Town and four from Rawal Town. Two patients came from Gujar Khan and one from Taxila. Two patients came from Chakwal and two from Islamabad.

As many as 61 patients are admitted in Rawalpindi hospitals, including 10 in Benazir Bhutto Hospital, 21 in Fauji Foundation Hospital, 13 in Holy Family Hospital, 15 in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and two in Hearts International Hospital. Nine patients are on ventilators, including 25 on oxygen support, and 27 are stable.

Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood told Dawn that the number of patients had slightly increased in the last two days but the number of critical patients had reduced in hospitals. He said 32 people tested positive in Rawalpindi and seven in Jhelum.Meanwhile, 16 cases in the capital were reported in the age group of 30-39, followed by 15 in 50-59, 13 each 10-19, 20-19, 40-49, 10 in 0-19, five each in 60-69, 70-79 and one in 80 and above, officials said, adding 11 cases were reported from Loi Bher, eight from Tarlai, six each from F-11, G-11, Bhara Kahu, F-7, five each from G-6, G-7, four from G-13, three each from I-10, G-8, Alipur, two each from Khana, E-11, F-8, G-9, F-6, Sihala and one each from G-10, Kurri, F-10, I-9, Model Town, Chak Shahzad, H-13, Kural, I-11, E-16 and G-12.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2021

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