PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa overnment has constituted Covid-19 Provincial Task Force to expedite vaccination as positivity and incidence of coronavirus continue to decline in the high-risk districts of the province.

A health department report showed that 12 people passed away due to the pandemic and 295 new patients were recorded in the province on Thursday.

According to it, total deaths due to coronavirus have reached 4,125 and incidence 133,746 whereas the count of active cases stands at 4,563. Of the infected people, 125,058 (93 per cent) have recovered including 301 reported during the last 24 hours.

Seven people fell prey to the virus in Peshawar, two in Dera Ismail Khan and one each in Nowshera, Mardan and Swat.

The provincial capital recorded 70 new cases, Dera Ismail Khan 22, Bannu 19, Mansehra 18, Swat and Malakand 16 apiece, Buner and Abbottabad 14 each, Nowshera and Mardan 12 each, Haripur and Chitral Lower 11 and Orakzai registered 10 cases.

Officials said that 8,255 tests were conducted in the province and while the level of coronavirus positivity remained 7.3 per cent.

Cases continue to decline in high-risk districts

Keeping in view the declining number of cases, Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz on Thursday chaired a meeting in which he ordered formation of Provincial Task Force for Vaccination with Health Secretary Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah as its head to escalate the process of immunisation against the virus.

The force will supervise the work of the district task forces and ensure availability of vaccine through a logistics distribution plan so that people could get jabs without any delay.

A notification said that the force would also collect data of target population besides looking into the issues relating to the online applications by the people wanting to get vaccinated. It would also coordinate with the private sector, it added.

Officials said that the task force was also instructed to create demand for Covid-19 vaccination through public awareness to achieve the target of giving shots to 19 million people above 18 years by December.

According to them, health department has procured 113,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to be provided to people as second dose.

The decision has been taken in view of shortage reported from many vaccination centres where the people, who have received Sinopharm as first dose, are waiting to get the second dose.

Officials said that the provincial government was using four types of vaccine including Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Cansino.

They said that people would get the same vaccine as second dose which had been given to them as first dose. Different vaccines to same persons were not recommended, they added.

They said that government had decided to use Sinovac as first and second dose because of its better supply chain. “We are concentrating on enhanced vaccination due to decline in positivity of coronavirus swabs in the province,” they added.

A report said that positivity in Peshawar was 7.8 per cent, in Mardan 5.7 per cent, in Abbottabad 5.1 per cent, in Charsadda 4.6 per cent, in Swabi 2.9 per cent and in Nowshera 2.1 per cent.

Officials said that there were 12 mass vaccination centres in the province and the number would be raised to 70 within a week. The number of fixed centres was 800 presently, they added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Khalid Mahmood visited mass vaccination centre at Nishtar Hall and reviewed the situation.

He said that people could receive jabs at 21 places in Peshawar. He added that people should send their identity cards number on 1166 prior to visiting the centres to get vaccinated.

The official said that 29 more centres were being set up in the city to ensure protection of people from the virus that had so far killed 37 million people worldwide, according to a press release.

He said that district administration in collaboration with district health office was taking measures to get immunised all the target population.

About 160,000 people have been administered vaccine in Peshawar district. A total of 850,000 people have been inoculated in the province so far.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2021

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