KP health dept wants to boost Covid vaccination ahead of fourth wave

Published June 28, 2021
A senior citizen receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — AFP/File
A senior citizen receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: As Covid-19 cases and mortalities continue to decline in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, health department has intensified efforts to enhance vaccination prior to the onset of the fourth wave.

On Sunday, four more patients succumbed to the virus and 131 new cases were recorded in the province that took the overall tally of deaths and incidence to 4,308 and 137,759 respectively.

Of the total infected people, 131,626 (95 per cent) including 113 recorded during the last 24 hours have recovered from the infection, according to daily situation report released by health department. It said that presently there were 1,825 active cases in the province.

More than 10,000 tests, including more than 4,000 at Public Health Reference Laboratory at Khyber Medical University, are conducted in the province o daily basis.

Three new deaths due to coronavirus were reported in Peshawar and one in Chitral Lower. Peshawar diagnosed 29 fresh cases, Dir Lower 22, Abbottabad 15 and Chitral Upper, Kohat and Bannu 10 each.

KP records four deaths and 131 new cases

Meanwhile, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has announced that it won’t allow commuters to travel without vaccination certificate from August 1.

“The measure is meant to ensure protection of people against the infection. On average, 175,000 people travel in BRT per day. We have already enforced strict standard operating procedure against Covid-19 and people without face mask are not allowed,” BRT spokesman Mohammad Umair Khan told Dawn.

He said that security guards at each of 27 stations stood alert to check face mask of the commuters and report to the district administration against violators of the precautionary measures.

He said that commuters were advised from time to time to adhere to preventive measures to stay safe from being infected with the virus.

The health authorities continue to speed up vaccination as in most of the 700 centres people are not coming to get inoculated due to which they stand exposed to the virus.

“We can vaccinate 80,000 people per day and want to administer Covid-19 jabs to 19 million target population by end of the current year. Different ways are being employed to motivate people to get vaccinated,” said a senior health official.

He said that district administration should strictly impose the directives regarding linking issuance of driving and other licences and property documents on showing vaccination certificate.

He said that all the government departments were asked to get their employees vaccinated but the instructions fell on deaf ears, which was major source of concern for the people involved in the management of Covid-19 in the province.

“The hospitals have also been directed to make the vaccination certificate conditional for elective surgeries. Other measures meant to create demand for vaccinations are in also progress,” said the official.

He said that revenue officials, ulema and secretaries of union councils had been engaged to create demand for vaccination, he said.

The province’s overall positivity is below one per cent.

The level of infectivity is the highest in Peshawar, the hardest-hit district, which has recorded 2.9 per cent positivity, Swat has recorded 1.8 per cent, Nowshera one per cent and Abbottabad 0.8 per cent.

For the last 14 days, the province has been registering less than 200 patients per day and five deaths on average daily.

The health authorities said that there should be no laxity over decreasing number of cases and fatalities as the virus was still around and would remain for several months. Therefore, vaccination remained the sole option to be able to start normal lives, they added.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2021

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