(Clockwise) People wait for their turn to receive a dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at a private medical facility in Karachi on Monday. Two men roll prayer carpets from the main hall of a mosque in Rawalpindi as required under the guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus ahead of the holy month of Ramazan. Passengers wearing facemasks walk at a railway station in Karachi. —AFP / Mohammad Asim-White Star / AFP
(Clockwise) People wait for their turn to receive a dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at a private medical facility in Karachi on Monday. Two men roll prayer carpets from the main hall of a mosque in Rawalpindi as required under the guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus ahead of the holy month of Ramazan. Passengers wearing facemasks walk at a railway station in Karachi. —AFP / Mohammad Asim-White Star / AFP

• Bloomberg says it’ll take Pakistan a decade to vaccinate 75pc of its population
• NCOC reports 4,323 cases, 43 deaths
• Special counter for differently-abled persons set up in capital

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to administer Covid-19 vaccines to citizens aged 80 years and above in their homes.

The facility will commence in a few days.

On the other hand, the country reported 4,323 cases and 43 deaths in a single day.

Meanwhile, an American newswire, Bloomberg, has claimed that it would take a decade for Pakistan to inoculate 75 per cent of its population despite the fact that around one million people have already been vaccinated against the deadly virus.

According to the NCOC data, 438 ventilators were in use across the country while the number of active cases stood at 61,450.

As many as 4,328 patients were admitted to hospitals.

The data showed that 936,383 people had been vaccinated till April 3, with 265,831 persons inoculated last week alone.

Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who chairs daily meetings of the NCOC, on Monday said citizens aged 80 and above would be vaccinated in their homes.

Talking to a news channel, he said the decision was taken during the NCOC meeting, adding that the provinces had been urged to follow suit.

He said the step was being taken to facilitate senior citizens as it was difficult for old people to reach the vaccination centres and wait in queues. He said it would have become even more uncomfortable during summer.

Mr Umar once again called on people to get themselves registered for vaccination.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, during a visit to the Tarlai vaccination centre in Islamabad, said the centre had been upgraded with the support of the World Health Organisation and a special counter had also been established there to vaccinate differently-abled people.

“We have vaccinated over 900,000 people and will cross the figure of one million in a few days. We had started vaccinating senior citizens and now even over 65 years old are able to avail the walk-in vaccination facility. Gradually we will also introduce it for people of younger ages,” he said.

“People with heart issues ask whether they should go for the vaccination; the answer is they should as it is safe,” he added.

Talking about the third wave, Dr Sultan said the new variant was prevalent in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.

“Wear masks and strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures to remain safe from the disease,” Dr Sultan said.

According to a study conducted by Bloomberg, Pakistan would take 10 years to vaccinate 75pc population.

It is worth mentioning here that Dr Faisal Sultan had announced that around 10 million Pakistanis, over the age of 18 years, were eligible for vaccination and around 75pc of them - 75 million - will be vaccinated by the end of the current year.

According to the study, Pakistan, Ukraine, Iran and Bangladesh will take 10 years to vaccinate 75pc of their population, the Philippine, five years; India, four years and Argentina will take three years.

The study further revealed that Turkey, Brazil, Germany, France, Spain and Italy would take a year and some countries including United Kingdom, United States, Israel and Chile less than one year to inoculate 75pc of their population.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2021

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