Sindh seeks centre’s permission to procure Covid-19 vaccine

KARACHI: Fearing that Pakistan may become the last country to launch the vaccination programme due to the ‘lethargic’ attitude and ‘slow’ process of federal authorities, the Sindh government on Saturday “requested’ Islamabad to allow it to procure by itself the Covid-19 vaccine from different countries. 

The Sindh Health minister, Dr Azra Pechuho told the press conference that the way the federal government is toeing its vaccination procurement plan; it seems that the Pakistan would be the last country to have its cure.

Accompanied by Sindh Local Bodies and Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and health secretary, she added that they have contacted few countries on their own and got the response from China to approach through our Federal Government.

The challenge requires a speedy response, so they request the federal government to allow procurement of the vaccines as well so that they can expedite the process. They don’t want any interruption in the federal government’s plan but want to run our own drive parallel.

She said that the efforts of the Sindh government and the health authorities of the province managed to contain the spread of the virus to a large extent and now it should move towards the vaccine like other parts of the world.

All other countries like the UK, US, Europe are rushing for vaccines. Even African countries have started procurement. India has started vaccination and so has Turkey. If Pakistan continued to sit back, it would become a pariah internationally and would be required to show a corona virus vaccination certificate to travel in any part of the world.

Warning Against Reopening of Schools

To a question about the phase-wise reopening of educational institutions in the province like other parts of the country, the health minister said that they should not be reopened in Karachi and Hyderabad as the two cities had a high corona virus positivity ratio.

She added that the educational institutes should be reopened only after the positivity rate reaches three per cent — which stood at 10 pc a day earlier in Sindh.

Clarifying that not all educational institutions were reopening, she noted that classes for grades 9-10 would resume from January 18 as their board examinations were nearing.

She suggested that the attendance of students of classes 9th and 10th should be kept at 50 per cent as the infection could spread. If students would sit together in classes it would increase the risk of the virus spread. We need to be cautious and more careful.

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