Pakistan hits milestone as government administers 10m vaccine doses

Pakistan hits milestone as government administers 10m vaccine doses

ISLAMABAD: The government has hit a Covid-19 vaccination milestone as the health authorities have administered 10 million vaccine doses, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar announced, as new infections and deaths steadily decline.

Umar announced the milestone in a televised ceremony on Wednesday. He also urged people to get themselves vaccinated to return to a normal life.

Speaking at a ceremony held to mark the deliverance of the 10 millionth dose, Umar said about seven million people had been administered jabs, but cautioned the country had a long way to go to meet the target of vaccinating 70 million people by year-end.

“The more quickly we get ourselves vaccinated, the faster we would be able to rid ourselves of this menace,” he said, urging people to sign up for the shots so that businesses could reopen and life could return to normal.

Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Center, said the government agencies, as well as the people, have done a commendable job in following coronavirus guidelines, resulting in a steady decline in new infections.

Supported by strict measures and vaccination drive, the nation reported a Covid-19 positivity rate below 3 percent for a second day on Tuesday, the NCOC announced.

According to the data from the body, the authorities conducted 43,900 tests on Tuesday across the country bringing out 1,118 new cases with a positivity rate of 2.54 percent, down from 2.95 percent a day earlier.

Earlier in March and April, the country witnessed a positivity ratio of over 11 percent several times, leading the government to impose sweeping measures. At the start of May, the ratio dropped to below 10 percent and it went down to below 5 percent on May 22 and finally fell to below 3 percent on Monday.

“We have seen that when Pakistanis, as a nation, decide to achieve something, then they achieve it [no matter the circumstances],” Umar said.

In the last 24 hours, the NCOC reported 77 Covid-related deaths. The government portal has registered a total of 936,131 cases and 21,453 deaths since the outbreak in February last year.

The government launched a nationwide vaccination drive, starting with older people and frontline healthcare workers, in March. The drive began with a focus on the oldest people in the community, generally over the age of 80, and worked its way down.

Battling a third peak of the virus, the Health Department began the campaign with Chinese Sinopharm and CanSino jabs.

Private hospitals in major cities are also using the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine that has been imported by a local pharmaceutical company.

Initially, the government had to deal with vaccination hesitancy and a shortage of vaccine supplies and had limited shots to people aged 30 or over.

But with purchases from China and allocations from the World Health Organisation and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, the government has now secured more than 18 million doses and is keen to get them out into the population.

The government on Tuesday also opened a first drive-thru vaccination centre in Lahore to help the district administration achieve its “target of vaccinating around 7 to 8 million people in the next six months”, Deputy Commissioner Mudassir Riaz said.

Observing that only a higher vaccination rate would make full reopening possible, Riaz vowed to open more such points in other locations of the city to facilitate people.

From the beginning of its campaign in March up to Wednesday, the NCOC counts more than 2.5 million people fully vaccinated and more than 4.7 million partially vaccinated.

The post Pakistan hits milestone as government administers 10m vaccine doses appeared first on Pakistan Today.

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