The Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi has said that the Sindh government can procure coronavirus vaccines like the Punjab government has done as the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has not restricted any province from doing so.
Speaking to the media during his visit to the Khaliq Dina Hall vaccination centre on Sunday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf minister said that it would be better for the Sindh government to purchase anti-Covid jabs on its own.
The provincial government can do so by utilising the Rs5 billion it allocated to deal with the pandemic, he added. “Where and how have those funds been utilised?” he questioned.
While lauding the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government for its initiative to provide the coronavirus vaccine to elderly citizens at their houses, Zaidi said that all good steps deserve appreciation but shortcomings have to be criticised as well. The administrations in Islamabad and Punjab – where the PTI leads the provincial government – are in close contact with Covid-19 patients, Sindh also needs to develop such mechanisms, said Zaidi, who was elected to the National Assembly from Karachi’s NA-244.
At Khaliq Dina Hall, the federal minister found the arrangements satisfactory and apprised that over 85,000 people had received anti-Covid jabs at this centre.
He appreciated the services of healthcare professionals and said that doctors and other healthcare workers are at the forefront in the war against the virus. They are risking their lives while serving others, he added.
“Our neighbouring country is in a colossal crisis and even Western countries that have modern health facilities have struggled in the face of Covid-19,” he remarked.
He urged people to follow the coronavirus-mandated standard operating procedures (SOPs), stressing especially on the use of face masks and social distancing measures.
Adopting precautions is the most effective way – after vaccinations – to curb the spread of the coronavirus, he said.
Responding to a query, Zaidi informed that he has written a letter to Federal Minister of Planning and Development Asad Umar for the procurement of 100,000 doses of anti-Covid jabs for the ports and shipping staff. The expenditure would be borne by his ministry, he added.
Mass vaccination centre
Meanwhile, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho inaugurated a vaccination centre at the Expo Centre and announced that the facility has the capacity to administer 30,000 vaccines a day.
According to the health department, the inoculation process at Hall Number Four of the centre will continue operations around the clock. It will have 12 registration counters to assist citizens arriving to get anti-Covid jabs.
Dr Pechuho appealed to citizens to get themselves vaccinated against the deadly virus. This will help curb the spread of contagion, she urged. All necessary facilities will be provided here to facilitate the people, she added.
The Expo Centre has been furnished with 96 cubicles spread across six blocks, where anti-Covid jabs will be administered. A large number have been deployed at the vaccination centre and 360 health workers are to be present in each shift.