Health dept told to double capacity of Expo’s mass vaccination centre

Published May 11, 2021
This file photo showed cubicles being readied for operation at the Expo Centre. — PPI/File
This file photo showed cubicles being readied for operation at the Expo Centre. — PPI/File

KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday directed the health department to take measures to increase the capacity of the mega vaccination centre at Expo Centre from 25,000 to 50,000 people per day.

“I want health department to develop the vaccination capacity of 100,000 per day ... this will help secure our population through a mass vaccination system,” he said while presiding over a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Coronavirus here at CM House.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah, Jam Ikram Dharejo, Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Parliamentary Secretary Qasim Siraj Soomro, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Sindh Mushtaq Mahar, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, Commissioner Naveed Shaikh and others.

Health Minister Pechuho told the meeting said that as per the decision of the chief minister a mass vaccination centre with the capacity of 25,000 vaccinations per day had been established at one of the halls of the Expo Centre.

Information minister says CM has allocated Rs1.5bn for procurement of vaccine

At this, the chief minister said: “Only restricting people at their homes is not enough and we have to make them secure by launching mass vaccination drives.”

He directed the health department to acquire another hall at the Expo Centre and enhance the vaccination capacity to 50,000 per day.

Orders mass vaccination centres in Hyderabad

The CM directed the chief secretary to set up a mass vaccination centre in Hyderabad.

He said that similar arrangements might be made in Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana.

The health secretary told the meeting that the provincial government had received 862,000 doses of Sinopharm, 11,000 Cansino, 80,000 Sinovac and 107,500 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.

He added that 633,402 doses of Sinopharm, 11,000 of Cansino, 61,200 Sinovac and 1,480 doses of AstraZeneca had been utilised.

The meeting was informed that the daily production of oxygen was 798 metric tons (MT) per day against the demand of 724.60 MT — 534.80 MT for healthcare, 113.80 MT for industries and 69.85 MT for distributors.

The chief minister directed the health department to prepare an urgent plan to install oxygen plants at all the five tertiary care hospitals.

The meeting was informed that the third wave of coronavirus started on April 9 when 314 cases were detected and it reached its peak on May 5 when 1,110 cases were diagnosed. Now it seemed to be dropping down to 911 cases on May 7 and 976 cases on May 9.

“The Eid holidays are critical ... if people fail to follow the SOPs it would aggravate further,” the chief minister said urging people to celebrate Eid with simplicity and avoid going to relatives.

The CM was told that out of 536 intensive care unit (ICU) beds only 52 were occupied. He said out of 1,453 high dependency unit (HDU) beds 278 were occupied and out of 442 low-flow beds only 38 were filled.

He directed the health department to keep the vaccination centres operational during Eid holidays.

Later, Information Minister Nasir Shah, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab and Parliamentary Secretary on Health Qasim Soomro briefed the media about the decisions taken in the meeting of the task force.

Mr Soomro said that the health department was procuring vaccines so that mass vaccination drives could be started in the province.

Mr Shah added that the chief minister has allocated Rs1.5 billion for procurement of vaccine.

NAB ‘condemned’ for asking domicile details

Responding to a question regarding a letter from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) through which it sought the details of the place of domicile of all the government employees from grade-1 to grade-22, the information minister said that the letter had been issued without the knowledge of the NAB chairman.

“NAB is not a services tribunal to check domiciles of employees,” he said, adding that after Eid the provincial government would give its stance on it.

Mr Wahab said that NAB was only an anti-corruption body and it had nothing to do with appointments, removal from service and such other matters. “They have crossed their limits by writing this letter and we condemn it,” he said.

Talking about the recent controversy regarding alleged forced evictions of villagers by Bahria Town staff, the minister said that the provincial government had removed the assistant commissioner, mukhtiarkar and SHO concerned.

He said that the police on the complaint of villagers had registered a case against officials of the housing scheme.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2021

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