As the government pursues the strategy of linking various facilities to vaccination, beginning with the aviation bar from next week and a warning associated with restriction on mobile use, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan on Tuesday urged the people to urge their jabs at the earliest to avoid harsh measures, announcing that the authorities were aiming at the target of 1 million shots each day.
While the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data showed over 3,000 Covid-19 cases for a second consecutive day with 39 more deaths and three,262 new cases in the past 24 hours, the number of active cases within the country swelled to 59,899 on July 27.
Terming Karachi’s situation where the positivity rate of coronavirus has surged to 26.32 percent ‘the worst till date’, the NCOC during a meeting noted that the number of Covid patients in medical care units within the metropolis had already increased to 980. The federal vowed to cooperate with the Sindh government and supply personal protective equipment and oxygen to affect things.
In a related development, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services Sajid Shah confirmed to Dawn that three million more doses of Sinopharm arrived from China on Tuesday.
However, the NCOC meeting, which was chaired by Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, highlighted the necessity for strict implementation of Covid-related standard operating procedures in Karachi.
The Sindh and Punjab governments have earlier warned the unvaccinated folks that their SIMs are often blocked if they didn’t get their shots. “Nowadays people can spend an entire day if their wallets are left the reception, but they become completely paralyzed if their cell phones are misplaced or SIMs are blocked for one day. Though such proposals and concepts [like blocking SIMs]are discussed at the platform of NCOC, I might urge people to urge them vaccinated at the earliest,” the PM’s aide on health said while lecturing Dawn.
Dr. Sultan added that the federal was gradually following the approach of incentives and obligations to convince maximum people to urge themselves vaccinated. In this regard, he mentioned that aviation of unvaccinated people would be banned from Lammas.
Following the NCOC directive, the ensign carrier Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has made it mandatory for domestic passengers aged 18 or above also as its own cabin crew to submit copies of their vaccination certificates (complete or partially vaccinated) to qualify for aviation.
Also, the PIA management imposed restrictions on cabin crew members to travel to duty-free shops thanks to Covid protocols on all stations, warning that just in case of violation the quantity of penalty is going to be deducted from their salary alongside administrative action as per rules.
Dr. Sultan told Dawn that the govt was engaging the company sector to spice up vaccination efforts. “Currently around 600,000 people are being vaccinated per day which may be a huge number but still the NCOC wants to reinforce it to at least one million doses per day. We are involving the company sector to urge their employees and families of the workers vaccinated. We also are establishing vaccination centers in business centers in order that an outsized number of individuals would be vaccinated,” he said.
He said the NCOC was focusing 15 largest cities that had become hubs of viruses to accentuate vaccination campaigns. He believed that the 40pc vaccine-eligible population of the 15 cities would be vaccinated by August 31.
Earlier, at the launch of the Centre of Disease Control (CDC) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Islamabad, the PM’s aide expressed the hope that the initiative would contribute to enhancing the country’s ability to stop, detect and answer communicable disease outbreaks during a systematic manner and also enhance national health safety and security.
Speaking on the occasion, NIH executive Maj Gen Aamer Ikram said the CDC would improve the general public health system capacity for early detection of events having public health significance for a timely response using modern methods and techniques.
Chairman of the Health Task Force, Pakistan, Prof Nausherwan Khan Burki was also present on the occasion.