Citizens in Karachi who do not posses computerised national identity cards (CNIC) are now eligible for receiving Covid-19 vaccines after on-the-spot biometric registration at the Mass Vaccination Centres in the city, the Sindh Health Department confirmed to Dawn.com on Monday.
Earlier on July 30, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had announced that vaccines would be administered to citizens without CNICs, adding that modalities were being reviewed for the purpose.
For her part, the Sindh Health Department’s media coordinator, Mehar Khursheed, said citizens can get their biometrics done at the vaccination centre and register the cell phone number they are currently using.
Explaining the process, she said, “Every vaccine dose has to be documented. We need to write down the name and details of every person. The biometric facility is available at Expo Centre in Karachi and is being expanded to other 24/7 Mass Vaccination Centres across the city. Where biometric is not available, a valid mobile number will be used.”
The health department official said over 2,000 citizens without CNICs have been vaccinated so far in Karachi.
Besides the Karachi Expo Centre, the 24/7 Mass Vaccination Centres in the city include Dow Ojha Campus, Khaliq Dina Hall, Jinnah Hospital, Lyari General Hospital, Children's Hospital, SG Hospital New Karachi, SG Hospital Liaquatabad, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital, SG Hospital Murad Memon Goth, SG Hospital Korangi and SG Hospital Saudabad.
The move is expected to help a large number of citizens who do not posses CNICs and have so far been excluded from the vaccination drive.
During the press conference on July 30, CM Shah had said that vaccine rollout would be expanded to include citizens without CNICs, adding however that they had to find a way to keep a tab on the doses.
“The vaccines were disbursed by the federal government and we have to account for each dose. Any misappropriation is strictly being monitored. We had asked the federal government a while ago to allow vaccination of people without CNICs and took permission for some cases.”
“We have proposed a system that the number on the vaccination card [issued to people without CNICs] could be considered as a unique identification number. We are discussing it with the federal government. We had vaccinations done which included some destitute women in the city,” he added.
Sindh govt urges citizens to get jabs
The Sindh government had on Friday decided to impose a lockdown in the province from from July 31 till August 8 amid rising Covid-19 cases.
“During this nine-day lockdown, we want people to come out of homes only for vaccination purposes and no other activity whatsoever,” Murtaza Wahab had said in a presser the next day.
Explaining the initiatives taken by the Sindh’s coronavirus task force, Wahab had said that the provincial administration had decided to use a “tactic” to persuade people to get themselves vaccinated.
“In this regard, it was decided that mobile SIM cards of unvaccinated people will be blocked, and you can see vaccination stats after four days of the announcement — there’s an exponential increase in it,” he said.