PESHAWAR: The provincial health department is starting Covid-19 vaccination of expatriate Pakistanis from Monday (today) as the coronavirus incidence and mortalities continue to dwindle in the province.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported four deaths and 122 new infections on Sunday, according to the health department’s Covid-19 report.
Health authorities here say that they are starting administering jabs to the expatriate Pakistanis who remain stuck in their native areas after arriving from foreign countries due to unavailability of vaccines acceptable in the countries where they work.
They said that these workers had been protesting from the last few days against the unavailability of Covid jabs in the vaccination centres, especially in Malakand division.
KP receives 50,000 doses of Moderna vaccine; four more deaths, 122 new cases reported
“We have received 50,000 doses of Moderna vaccines from the US as part of Covax programme which will be administered exclusively to the people wishing to rejoin their duty stations in foreign countries,” the officials said. They said there was no data about the number of expat workers in the province, but all those registered with the National Command and Operation Centre would get doses in their respective areas.
Pakistan has received 2.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine from the US, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa might get more doses in coming days, they said. So far, the people have been getting Sinopharm, Cansino and Sinovac which aren’t acceptable in foreign countries and the labourers and other workers in the province were eagerly waiting for the internationally acceptable vaccines so they could go back to the countries of their work.
They said the people would get two doses, the second one after 28 days.
“We have supplied the drug to the 10 centres located in areas where more protests are being recorded. The local population will continue to get the China-made jabs which are available, but the Moderna is meant for the expats to enable them to return to their overseas work stations,” said the officials.
They said that Malakand had the most number of such workers where these vaccines had been made available in Swat, Dir and Shangla while the people in Mansehra, Abbottabad, Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar would also get the vaccine.
Officials said they were monitoring the situation regarding vaccination of overseas Pakistan and would supply jabs to the areas where these were most needed. The people have already got registered and are waiting for their turn to receive vaccination while those who have not been registered as yet should send their identity card numbers to 1166 to qualify for immunisation against Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the province’s death toll from the virus swelled to 4,340 and cases to 138,533, according to the health department report. It said that of the infected persons 132,618 (95 per cent), including 124 in the last 24 hours, had already recovered from the infection.
The province tested 10,225 swabs, it said. Currently, there are 1,575 active Covid patients in the province. The report said that one person each passed away in Peshawar, Abbottabad, Haripur and Kohat districts. As usual, Peshawar reported 38 new cases while the number of cases in other districts was in the single digit.
“There are 645 fixed centres, 42 mass vaccination centres and 43 mobile vehicles with the capacity to administer jabs to 80,000 persons a day. Our focus remains on vaccination as we immunised 70,000 people on Saturday,” the officials said.
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2021