ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) dedicates another Sunday (today) to the partially-vaccinated people for the third week in a row to facilitate them in getting their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
On the other hand, the number of daily infections has fallen by 50 per cent during the last over one month.
It is worth mentioning that though a large number of people have gotten the first dose, it has been observed that some avoid getting the second dose.
According to the NCOC data, over 72 million doses have been administered out of which over 54 million people have received the first shot and around 24 million are fully immunised.
“The NCOC has urged the masses to avail facility of the second dose of vaccine throughout the week. For administering second dose, eligible citizens can access vaccination centres without waiting for a message. Sunday has been exclusively specified for second dose only. All federating units have been instructed accordingly,” a statement issued by the forum said.
Talking to Dawn, Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) spokesperson Sajid Shah said the decision was aimed to provide an opportunity to partially-inoculated people to become fully vaccinated without any hassle.
“I advise people to get fully vaccinated at the earliest because in a few weeks’ time it will become difficult to move around without a vaccination certificate. In the coming months, unvaccinated people may not be able to shop and travel in public transport; they will also not be able to continue their jobs without becoming fully immunised,” Mr Shah warned.
He said some mass vaccination centres in every city would remain open on Sunday (today) for people requiring a second dose, advising them not to wait for a message from the helpline.
Meanwhile, the NCOC data revealed that the country recorded 63 deaths and 2,512 new patients in a single day, with the national positivity ratio calculated at 4.4pc.
The number of cases has reduced by 50pc in over one month when around 5,000 patients were being reported in the first week of August. However, 5,117 people still remain in critical care.
Over 50pc ventilators were occupied in Multan, Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Lahore while over 50pc oxygenated beds were in use in Swabi, Bannu, Sargodha and Bahawalpur. There were 64,564 active cases as of Sept 18.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said it had procured 500,000 doses of the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, and handed them over to the NHS ministry.
Coronavirus was first detected in China in Dec 2019, which then spread to other countries. Pakistan had closed its borders and took a number of steps to stop the transmission. The first case in the country was reported in the last week of Feb 2020.
On March 13, the first meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC), comprising top civil and military leadership, was held to discuss the crisis which was later declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Prime Minister Imran Khan had chaired the NSC meeting and directed the relevant authorities to devise a comprehensive strategy to prevent the spread of the virus.
A lockdown was announced on March 16, 2020 and a number of industries, including the construction sector, educational institutions, restaurants and marriage halls were closed.
Pakistan had also sealed its western border with Afghanistan and Iran, and closed Kartarpur shrine to the local people. According to health authorities, Pakistan has so far been hit by four waves of Covid-19.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2021