ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Develop­ment Asad Umar on Friday said Pakistan had achieved its target of vaccinating 70 million people against Covid-19 set for 2021, with 46 per cent having been fully inoculated.

On the other hand, the country saw 515 people getting infected in a single day – the highest number since Nov 10, 2021 when 637 had tested positive.

In his tweet, the minister said the target of vaccinating 70 million people by the end of 2021 had been achieved, adding the federal government had spent Rs250 billion on procuring vaccines, which had made the massive immunisation drive possible.

“To make this massive vaccination drive possible, the Federal Government has procured vaccines worth nearly Rs250 Billion. 100 percent of vaccine procurement done by the federal government, which has provided free vaccines to all citizens regardless of which province they live in,” he tweeted.

He further stated: “Amongst the Federating units Islamabad leads with 77 pc fully vaccinated. Punjab is at 51 pc, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) 46 pc, AJK 45 pc, Balochistan 42 pc, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 41 pc, and Sindh at 37 pc. Of the total eligible population 46 pc is fully vaccinated and 63 pc has received at least one dose.”

Asad Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), praised the forum’s team, the administrations of federal and provincial governments as well as all health teams for their tireless efforts in achieving the target.

“Due to their tireless efforts, a target was achieved that was seemed to be impossible,” he said in his tweet.

Retweeting Asad Umar’s tweet, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib commented: “Another milestone has been achieved in the ongoing vaccination against Covid-19. The completion of vaccination of 70 million people across the country including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan by the end of 2021 was a good omen.”

He said: “NCOC has set an excellent example of cooperation between the federation, the provinces and the institutions.”

Fake email about booster dose

The NCOC has denied sending emails to citizens in which it has asked them to get registered for availing the booster dose.

In the fake email, citizens have been told to fill in a Covid-19 registration form for the booster dose after which they will receive a message informing them about the date for getting the third vaccine.

In a tweet, the NCOC said: “A fake Email is circulating, asking citizens for mandatory registration for vaccination. No such E Mail is sent from NCOC / Ministry of National Health Services. Citizens are advised not to respond to such E Mails. FIA Cyber crime wing is tracking the origin for necessary action.”

The forum had announced that all vaccination centres across the country would remain closed for two days starting from Jan 1. The campaign will resume from Jan 3, 2022.

Over 500 cases reported

Pakistan reported 515 cases after one-and-a-half months on Friday. Besides, six people lost their lives during the last 24 hours, the NCOC said.

The last time the number of cases crossed the 500 mark was on Nov 10 when 637 people contracted the virus in a single day. However, cases started to fall from Nov 11 onwards.

According to data, the positivity rate was recorded at 1.07 per cent. This too has risen over 1pc for the first time since November.

Elaborating on the details, the NCOC said 308 cases and four deaths were recorded in Sindh while 115 people tested positive in Punjab. No death was reported in the province.

The forum further revealed that 36 patients contracted the virus and one person died in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three got infected and one died in Balochistan, 53 patients surfaced in Islamabad while no new case was detected in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

On the other hand, 406 people recovered from the deadly virus in the country, taking the overall recovery tally to 1,256,337, the NCOC data said, adding that 97pc recoveries had been recorded since the start of the pandemic.

The NCOC once again urged people to follow the standard operating procedures to prevent the spread of Omicron variant.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2022



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