PM’s aide rejects possibility of lifting virus-related curbs

Published September 16, 2021
In this file photo, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV
In this file photo, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has rejected the possibility of lifting coronavirus-related curbs as the number of new Covid-19 cases is increasing in some districts.

He hoped that the United Kingdom (UK) would review the red list status for Pakistani air travellers and put the country on the amber list as data had been provided as per UK’s request.

According to the data of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), as many as 70,402,987 doses of the vaccine have been administered across the country. Meanwhile 2,714 new cases and 73 deaths were reported in a single day with national positivity rate of 4.78 per cent.

Over 70m doses of vaccine administered across country

Talking to media on Wednesday, Dr Sultan said that there was still pressure on the healthcare system, particularly related to oxygen, and therefore restrictions would remain enforced.

“There are some cities in which cases could not be reduced so people should strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and should wear masks. The good thing is that the vaccine is available in ample quantity and people should get themselves vaccinated at the earliest,” he said.

He said that restrictions could not be lifted unless 60pc to 70pc population was vaccinated.

Replying to a question on Pakistan’s removal from UK’s red list, Dr Sultan said that all data demanded by the UK had been provided to it.

“UK has been reviewing the list but it is the choice of every country to manage the risk as per its requirements. We have provided valid data and now we should hope for the best,” he said.

Replying to another question, the SAPM said that they had stopped administering first dose of Sinopharm to ensure that people get second dose of the vaccine.

He said that around seven vaccines were being administered in Pakistan so one or two of them could become short any time.

The NCOC data further showed that the number of active cases in the country was 77,532 as of Sept 15. The number of hospitalised patients was 5,761 across the country.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party legislator Mehreen Razaque Bhutto has criticised the increase in prices of medicines. She said that it was unfortunate that the prices were increased every year. She suggested that life-saving drugs should be provided at affordable rates.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2021

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