2 million Sinovac doses reach Islamabad

Published June 24, 2021
Residents wait for their coronavirus disease vaccine doses, at a vaccination centre in Karachi, April 2. — Reuters/File
Residents wait for their coronavirus disease vaccine doses, at a vaccination centre in Karachi, April 2. — Reuters/File

• Sehat Sahulat mobile app launched
• NCOC reports 39 deaths, less than 1,000 cases

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of reports of Covid-19 vaccine shortage emerging from various parts of the country, two million doses reached the federal capital on Wednesday from China.

On the other hand, fewer than 1,000 positive cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

According to a statement of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), two million doses of Sinovac vaccine arrived on a special PIA plane at the Islamabad International Airport.

“This is part of the planned contracted quantity purchased from China. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is spearheading the purchase process of vaccines from the international market under the auspices of the NCOC. These doses will be deployed at all vaccine centres across the country for which arrangements are already in place. With the arrival of this consignment, daily average administration of doses across the country will enhance considerably,” the statement added.

According to the NCOC data, 39 deaths and 930 cases were reported in a single day with the number of active cases calculated at 33,005 as of June 23. There were 2,415 patients admitted to hospitals out of which 262 were on ventilators.

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) and State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan on Wednesday launched the ‘Sehat Sahulat mobile app’ to assist families covered under the flagship health insurance programmes of the federal and provincial governments.

Under the programme, each family can get medical treatment of up to Rs1 million per year.

The initiative was inaugurated by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan.

During the opening ceremony, details of ‘Sehat Sahulat mobile app’ were shared. The app is available on Google play store and will be linked with the CNIC number issued by Nadra. It gets started with a login password and biometric verification.

“It is more of a kind of personal account which not only shows the balance in the account but also guides the beneficiary on several other queries. It will further help beneficiaries get rid of waiting in long queues of helpline numbers and provides information about the nearest panel hospital in the list of more than 500 hospitals in the desired location as well as details about the benefit package, the ceremony was told.

“The app automatically detects whether the family is covered under the federal, Punjab or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa healthcare programme. Moreover, the user can also download awareness material and access animated videos showing the key benefits of the programme. The mobile app will help clients lodge their complaints in case of dissatisfaction with the provided services,” it was informed.

Dr Sultan said: “Today all provision of services is vitally dependent on digital platforms. Therefore this app will ensure smooth and efficient service delivery to programme beneficiary families.”

Meanwhile, an international consultative meeting on ‘Covid-19 Vaccine: Strategies and Policies for Extending Coverage’ was organised by the Health and Population Think Tank (HPTT), Health Services Academy and Ministry of National Health Services on Wednesday.

International experts on Covid-19 vaccine from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others provided technical input related to challenges on extending Covid-19 vaccine coverage.

The discussion commenced by informing the participants about the vaccine coverage challenges, strengthening of trainings, gender-bias issues, social and risk communication perspective related to vaccination and its international standing.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2021

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