Record 164,000 vaccinations carried out in a day: minister

ISLAMABAD: Since the starting of the drive, the daily vaccinations crossed the 150,000 mark for the first time on Monday, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar announced on Tuesday.

The tweet comes as the portal keeping track of the outbreak registered 3,377 new infections of Covid-19 after conducting 37,587 tests, receiving back a scaled-down positivity rate of 8.9 per cent.

The portal registered a rise in single-day fatalities as 161 people died due to the Covid-19 on Monday, up from 79 a day earlier — the lowest single-day toll in recent days.

“It is the first time [since the beginning of the drive in March] that over 164,000 people were vaccinated against Covid-19 in a day [on Monday], Asad tweeted.

“Yesterday was also the first day when people 40 and above started receiving [vaccination] jabs,” he added.

Pakistan has reported a decline in contagion rate in recent days. The positivity rate has come down to less than nine percent from 10.60 percent recorded on March 31.

New restrictions on non-essential businesses were imposed late last month and among the worst affected were restaurants and small roadside eateries where many labourers are employed.

Asad, in a tweet sent on Monday, said that the next few weeks are critical for the country in its battle against the pandemic, urging the people to follow coronavirus-related guidelines to avoid the spread of the disease.

He announced on Tuesday that significant improvement has been seen in compliance with guidelines “since the stronger enforcement measures including military deployment took place” last month.

“National average compliance has doubled from 34% on 25th [April] to 68% on 3rd May. Need to sustain and build on this compliance level specially till Eid[ul Fitr],” he said.

The government launched the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination for the general public, starting with older people, in March. The drive began with a focus on the oldest people in the community, generally over the age of 80.

The vaccination of people aged 50 and above began on April 21, and for 40 and above on Monday.

Addressing a press conference earlier today, Minister of State for Health Dr Faisal Sultan, without identifying the producer, said the government has signed deals to procure 30 million doses.

He said 19 million doses will be received by June and clarified that the government is not reliant on donations but 90 per cent of the vaccine stock was in fact purchased.

Dr Sultan further announced that domestic packaging of single-dose CanSino vaccine will begin soon. Three million doses a month of the drug will be prepared at the National Institute of Health (NIH), he added.

He had last month announced that by the end of June, the government would have a stock of 17 million vaccine jabs but stopped short of identifying the developer.

“The challenge [for the government] is to deploy and use them. The number of people who have registered is in the hundreds of thousands, not millions, yet we need to vaccinate 40 to 50 million by the end of this year,” he said in an interview.

Pakistan has also purchased some 30 million doses of vaccines from China.


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