FIA action sought over fake Covid vaccination entries made under Kulsoom Nawaz's and Ishaq Dar's names

Published October 6, 2021
A combination photo of Kulsoom Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar (R). Dawn/Photo courtesy BBC
A combination photo of Kulsoom Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar (R). Dawn/Photo courtesy BBC

The Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department has moved the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take action over fake entries made under the names of Kulsoom Nawaz, late wife of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, and former finance minister Ishaq Dar in the National Immunisation Management System (Nims) — the government's online portal for the issuance of vaccination certificates.

In a letter sent to the FIA on Wednesday, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department informed the agency that the fake entry for the administration of a PakVac vaccine dose was made under the name of Kulsoom Nawaz from Gymnasium Mailsi, which serves as a vaccination centre in Vehari, on October 5.

Another fake entry, for the first dose of the Cansino vaccine, was made under Dar's name the same day from the vaccination centre at the office of the Defence Housing Authority's chief executive officer in Multan, the letter stated.

"It is hereby requested to kindly investigate and take necessary action against the fake entry on the name of Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif and Muhammad Ishaq Dar in the National Immunisation Management System," it added.

Confirming these details, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary Imran Sikandar Baloch told Dawn.com that the department's Health Information and Service Delivery Unit had immediately identified the fake entries after they were reported by the media.

He added that the department had also made recommendations to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) — the nerve centre of Pakistan's virus response — for preventing fake entries in Nims, and measures were being taken to improve the data entry system.

The secretary assured that he was personally looking into the matter of fake entries, and "there is no place in my department for individuals involved in such activities [as making fake entries]."

The recent incident of fake entries has surfaced days after another one was made in Nims on the name of Nawaz.

The entry was made from Government Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital in Lahore, according to a provincial health department letter written to the FIA.

The letter had stated that the entry of Sharif's inoculation with the first dose of Sinovac vaccine was made on Sept 22 and sought action on the matter.

Subsequently, two health department officials had been suspended from service and the relevant district health authority's chief executive officer had asked the FIA to register a case against them.

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