This has been quite an intense week for COVID-19 in Pakistan, with Wednesday (i.e. yesterday) featuring the highest number of deaths (75) on a single day since July. With the second wave of coronavirus well and truly underway and the recent governmental approval to buy coronavirus vaccines as soon as they become available, the government has announced that free vaccination for the masses will start from the second quarter of 2021.
The announcement was made by Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services (NHS) Dr Nausheen Hamid. She took to Twitter to share the government’s decision.
“PTI government will provide the coronavirus vaccine free of cost to the people,” she claimed.
According to data from National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), yesterday featured a total of 2,829 positive cases and 75 deaths. The number of active cases in the country has now risen to 49,780, with as many as 311 out of 1,746 ventilators currently in use by COVID-19 patients.
The NCOC has decided to observe Covid-19 week from Dec 5 to 12. During the week, awareness will be disseminated among the masses to motivate them to wear mask, frequently wash hands and avoid going to crowded places.
The provinces have also been advised to ensure the strict implementation of COVID-19 SOPs.
An official of the NHS ministry said that all vaccines under routine immunization programs, including polio vaccine, were already being provided free of cost.
“The government has allocated an amount of $150 million for the Covid-19 vaccine and it will be provided free of cost. However, different segments of society will be prioritised for the vaccination and initially it will be given to healthcare workers, officials of law enforcement agencies, most exposed persons, etc,” he said.