Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday directed the finance ministry to stop the salaries from July of government employees who refuse to get themselves vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Presiding over a meeting of the provincial task force on Covid-19, which was attended by provincial ministers, the chief secretary, law enforcers and medical experts, the chief minister said: "Government employees who do not get themselves vaccinated will have their salaries stopped from July."
He instructed the chief secretary to give the month of June for government employees to get themselves vaccinated and also declared Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for citizens.
"We have to secure our citizens by taking some drastic measures," he said.
Giving additional directions for the vaccination campaign, CM Murad also instructed the 300 basic health units across the province to establish vaccination centres and set a cumulative daily target of 30,000 vaccine administrations.
Five mobile vaccination teams would, meanwhile, be established at every taluka level and given a target of 60,000 vaccines to be administered daily. “We have 605 talukas and they must vaccinate at least 60,000 people per day,” he ordered.
He also directed the health department to instruct the around 90 private hospitals in the province to target 10,000 vaccine doses daily and register more private hospitals for vaccinations.
The decisions came after Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday allowed the Sindh government to extend lockdown restrictions for another week to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the province. A source told Dawn that CM Murad had informed the prime minister that the provincial government wanted to extend the lockdown restrictions for another week.
Indian Variant in Sindh
Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi informed Thursday's meeting that four passengers on May 29 were diagnosed with the Indian variant of the coronavirus and isolated while the 14 people they had come into contact with had also been tested.
The session was also informed about the situation in Karachi, where the positivity rate on June 1 had been 12.45 per cent and 11.77pc on June 2.
From May 27 to June 2, there was an increase of 21pc in new cases in Karachi's district East and 20 deaths. The Central district, meanwhile, recorded a positivity rate of 12pc and 15 deaths while 9pc and nine deaths were recorded in district South and 8pc and seven deaths in district West.
The meeting was further informed that a total of 392 deaths had been recorded in the province in the last 30 days, of whom 238 patients had been on ventilators. Currently, 77 people are on ventilators with 74 of them being in Karachi.
The chief minister remarked after being informed of these figures that the situation had not improved in the province and the number of deaths had increased from April when 154 deaths had been recorded. “This is a serious situation, and we have to control our death rate.”
The chief minister was also briefed on the vaccination progress so far and informed that 78,799 vaccines doses had been administered on June 2 across the province with 57,541 as a first dose and 21,258 as a second dose. A total of 1,550,553 doses had so far been administered in Sindh.