Asad Umar asks cities to administer second dose at earliest

Published September 13, 2021
In this file photo, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this file photo, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV/File

• Islamabad becomes first city in Pakistan to have 50pc of its eligible population fully vaccinated
• Cases decrease by 40pc in one month

ISLAMABAD: As the federal capital becomes the first city in the country to achieve the milestone of having more than 50 per cent of its eligible population fully vaccinated and 71pc having received at least one jab, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has called on other cities to follow suit and increase the pace of administering the second dose.

On the other hand, the number of coronavirus patients has decreased by 40pc in around one month, but active cases still remain over 90,000 as of Sept 12.

“Islamabad has become the first city in Pakistan to have at least 50pc of its eligible population (15 years & older) fully vaccinated. 71pc of Islamabad eligible population has received atleast 1 dose. Need to see an acceleration of second dose in other cities,” the minister tweeted.

In the last week of July, Asad Umar, who heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), had given a target to all major cities, having a population of over one million, to vaccinate at least 40pc of their eligible population by the end of August.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), requesting not to be named, said Islamabad had been meeting all targets since the vaccination process started.

“Though other cities are also performing well, they are just a little behind their targets, especially in giving second doses,” the official said, adding that it had been observed that people try to avoid the second dose, believing that since they have received the first jab, they did not need another one.

“That is why the number of those who have been fully vaccinated is less than half the number of people partially inoculated; we therefore advise citizens to get vaccinated at the earliest,” he added.

According to the NCOC data, over 21 million people have been fully vaccinated compared to over 50 million who have received just one dose.

It said 58 people had died of Covid-19 and 3,153 new patients emerged in a single day. The number of active cases was 91,015 while the national positivity rate stood at 5.45pc. Besides, 5,370 patients were on critical care.

It is worth mentioning here that cases, which were being reported at around 5,000 per day in the first week of August, have fallen to around 3,000.

This reduction in cases has been the result of a number of restrictions announced by the NCOC for unvaccinated people.

It was decided that from Sept 1, at least partially vaccinated transporters will be allowed to pick and drop students and those having received one dose can enter and work in shopping malls.

From Sept 4, educational institutions and inter-city transport were closed in cities having high positivity rate.

Meanwhile, adolescents in the age group of 15 to 17 years will be administered Pfizer vaccine from Monday (today).

The NCOC has advised them to bring their B forms to the vaccination centres.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2021

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