ISLAMABAD: As complaints of shortage of Covid-19 vaccines were being received from all federating and administrative units of the country, 1.55 million doses of Sinovac vaccine reached here from China on Sunday.

Half of the consignment was offloaded at Islamabad airport after which a special flight took off for Karachi to deliver the remaining doses of the vaccine there.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has claimed that 2m to 3m more doses of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive by the end of the current month.

According to an NCOC statement, a special consignment of Sinovac vaccine comprising 1.55 million doses arrived at the Islamabad airport through a special PIA flight.

Half of doses were offloaded at Islamabad and the rest sent to Karachi amid outcry over shortage

“This is part of a planned contracted quantity purchased from China. China, as a time-tested friend of Pakistan, has taken special measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of the vaccine to Pakistan.

“Another consignment of 2 to 3 million doses of the Chinese vaccine will be reaching Pakistan next week followed by continued supply. Measures are in place to transport these vaccines to all federating units according to their requirement,” the statement added.

A spokesman for the Pakistan International Airlines said a PIA flight (PK-6852) carrying the shipment of doses of Sinovac vaccine landed at the Islamabad International Airport at 11.30am.

He said a special PIA flight would bring 2m doses of the vaccine from China on June 22 as the national flag carrier had been using Boeing 777 for the relief operations.

Meanwhile, federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, who is also the head of NCOC, has claimed in a tweet that around 5m more doses of the vaccine will arrive by the end of the current month.

“Last week (June 12-18) more than 23 lakh (2.3m) vaccinations were done at a rate of 332,877 per day. This is the highest so far in any week. With 1.5m vaccines arriving today and another almost 5m in the next 10 days, inshallah next week will be a new record. Well done Pakistan,” Mr Umar tweeted.

According to data released by the NCOC, 37 deaths and 1,050 infections were reported in a single day, with the positivity rate coming to 2.55 per cent.

Across the country, 292 ventilators were in use. The breakdown of ventilators’ usage across the country was as follows: Multan, 37pc; Bahawalpur, 26pc; Islamabad, 24pc; and Lahore, 21pc.

The data revealed that in Gilgit 48pc of the beds with oxygen supply were in use, followed by Abbottabad, 27pc; Karachi, 24pc; and Muzaffarabad, 22pc.

Similarly, the number of active virus cases, which topped 90,000 in April, stood at 33,972 as of June 20.

A total of 948,268 cases were detected across the country, of which 892,319 people recovered but 21,977 could not survive. There were 2,591 patients admitted to hospitals across the country.

Mohammad Asghar in Rawalpindi also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2021

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