KARACHI: Unmoved by rising cases of disease and morbidity caused by Covid-19 that claimed another 12 lives overnight in the city, the Sindh government is yet to make the mega Covid-19 immunisation unit at the Expo Centre operational.

Sources said the facility visited daily by thousands of people had been completely closed for three days on account of protests by staff awaiting salaries for nine months.

They said the staff had been protesting for months and suspended work. Three days back, they decided to shut the service completely.

“What else could they do? It has been months that they haven’t been paid a single penny,” said a health department doctor posted at the Expo Centre.

“It’s so unfortunate. The centrally located facility used to be visited daily by people in large numbers as there were no parking problems here and the workers had been doing a remarkable job. No doubt, the government has done a great disservice,” he said.

The mega Covid-19 immunisation centre was opened at the Expo Centre less than a year ago with 500-strong workforce. A majority of them were privately hired. Initially, the facility operated round the clock, but in December, the timings were reduced from 8am to 8pm as the health department engaged the manpower in its outreach Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Meanwhile, 12 more patients died and the government reported 2,404 new Covid-19 infections overnight when 13,752 tests were conducted in the province. Of them, 1,979 were diagnosed in Karachi.

A total of 639 cases were reported in district East, 481 cases in district South, 334 cases in district Central, 193 cases in district Malir, 188 cases in district Korangi and 144 district West.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2022

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