PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded four more mortalities, all from Peshawar, due to coronavirus and 80 new cases on Tuesday as health department ordered acceleration of vaccination efforts to inoculate the target population.

Health Secretary Mohammad Tahir Orakzai issued a notification regarding launching a special three-day drive from December 1 to December 3.

It said that focused effort was part of the obligatory regime during which all target people would be administered shots against coronavirus.

The drive was in line with the decision of National Command and Operation Centre to run a focused immunisation drive from Wednesday.

Through the notification, all the administrative secretaries of line departments have been asked to redouble the efforts to inoculate more people during the second phase of vaccination against the virus.

First dose of vaccine has been given to 54pc of target people in KP

The progress made during the effort will be of more significance in overall performance of the province against the pandemic.

Officials in health department said that Covid-19 immunisation suffered a slump as most of the health staff was busy in the 12-day measles and rubella drive that ended on November 28.

“Emphasis is now being laid on coverage of more population against pandemic to make up for the dip caused during measles campaign,” they added.

So far, first dose has been administered to 54 per cent and second shot to 38 per cent of the target 24.2 million people.

The health secretary told Dawn that the government wanted to push vaccination because it was the only way to stay protected against the infection.

“All those, who have received the first dose, must get the second shot not only for their own safety but for others also. We are in contact with all government departments to ensure very positive outcome of the move, which will be started in all districts,” he said.

Mr Orakzai said that the routine vaccination process would remain in place but the special effort was meant to give injections to more people at places like markets, hospitals, educational institutions and others.

He said that scaling public awareness regarding significance of vaccination was also part of the drive.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has lost 5,846 persons to Covid-19 since March 2020 while the number of cases in the province is 180,075, according to a report of health department report.

Of the new cases, 49 (61 per cent) are from Peshawar, which has also recorded 2,821 deaths, 48.25 per cent of the province-wide fatalities.

Of the infected people, 96 per cent have recovered and 454 are in quarantine in government centres while 235 patients including 17 on ventilators have been admitted to hospitals.

Except Peshawar, the hardest-hit district, positivity rate is 1.8 per cent in other areas while it is below one per cent in all other high risk districts.

The ratio of deaths due to the pandemic has been three mortalities per day since November 1.

The daily positivity in the province has dropped below one per cent since November 16.

Health officials said that regardless of decline in cases and mortalities, vaccination against Covid-19 would continue as usual to meet the target by end of the year.

“Without immunisation and adherence to Covid-19 precautions, we cannot return to normal lives. Therefore, the only option is vaccine, which is available free of cost at 700 centres located in the government health facilities,” they said.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2021

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