Govt sets August 31 deadline for Covid vaccination

Web DeskWeb Editor

29th Jul, 2021. 02:16 pm
COVID-19 fourth wave severity is declining in the country: Asad Umar

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday set August 31 as the deadline for Covid vaccination, following which only vaccinated staff and people will be allowed to enter both public and private sector offices, including educational institutes, and travel in public transport.

“We want people do their routine businesses…, we want nobody loses their job …and whatever measures we are taking are for public good, so people should take care of their health and vaccinate themselves,” Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said, while addressing a press conference.

Flanked by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, the minister elaborated that unvaccinated people will not be allowed to travel in domestic flights, likewise, teachers and helping staff will not be allowed to enter the educational institutions.

The minister; however, added that around 80 per cent of the teachers had already been vaccinated.

Umar cautioned that drivers, who are responsible for providing pick and drop facility to schoolchildren will also have to get themselves vaccinated, while those travelling on public transport should also have to get vaccinated before the deadline.

The students aged 18 and above will also have to vaccinate themselves to attend educational institutions, while the employees of private and public sector entities would not be allowed to enter their office unvaccinated after August 31.

“[The] people in high-risk areas, including hotels, restaurants, and marriage halls would also have to get vaccinated in addition to those of the law-enforcement agencies, banks, Nadra, markets, shopping malls and chain stores,” he added.

Umar expressed the hope that Pakistan would come out of this challenge successfully and would become an example of success among other developing nations in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and also in its anti-coronavirus vaccination drive.

Talking about the ongoing vaccination drive, the minister said the government intended to mount the vaccination target to one million people in a day, adding that the highest number of 849,692 people were vaccinated on July 28; following the vaccination of 778,000 on July 27 and 680,000 on July 26.

“The single doze vaccination also touched the highest number of 637,000 in a day,” the minister said, adding that in provinces one-day record of 500,000 vaccinations was made in Punjab, 169,000 in Sindh, 111,000 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 8,500 in Balochistan.

“[The] people should realise that whatever they do will have an effect. If they follow the SOPs, the coronavirus cases would definitely come down and if they ignore them the pandemic would spread,” he added.

Umar said that when the SOPs were followed during Ramazan and Eid, positive results were witnessed as positive cases had gone down.

The minister; however, said implementation of SOPs was not the only solution and that people needed to be vaccinated at the earliest.

“The government has adopted a prudent strategy by striking balance between controlling coronavirus and allowing economic activity across the country,” he said, adding that complete lockdowns did not work in India and Bangladesh and rather had a negative effect.

The government had a comprehensive framework and was making data-based decisions but also stressed that there were problems in compliance of the coronavirus SOPs all across the country.

Giving data about the compliance of coronavirus SOPs, the minister said 56.4 per cent followed SOPs in the federal capital, while the percentage was 46.6 per cent in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; followed by Azad Jammu and Kashmir with 42.7 per cent, Gilgit-Baltistan with 37.4 per cent, Punjab with 38 per cent and Sindh 33 per cent.

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