Vaccination of people aged 60, above to start from March 10

Umar says vaccination to be done in reverse order, full details to be revealed tomorrow


News Desk March 07, 2021
NCOC chief Asad Umar. PHOTO: APP/File

ISLAMABAD:

The Covid-19 vaccination drive for those aged 60 and above is to commence from March 10, informed chief of National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) Asad Umar on Sunday.

"The vaccination of people 60 years and older will be starting from Wednesday the 10th of March. Vaccinations will be done in reverse order by age. Which means the oldest person who has registered will be vaccinated first. Full details will be issued tomorrow,” the minister tweeted.

Virus situation

As per the daily statistics released by Punjab's healthcare department on Sunday, the province recorded over 1,000 cases in a single day since July. The province's confirmed tally reached 177,008 with the new cases.

On the other hand, Pakistan's tally for confirmed cases reached 590,508 after it recorded a total of 1,780 cases from across the country.

With 39 more deaths, the country's death toll now stands at 13,205.

According to the government's official Covid-19 portal, the fresh cases were reported against a total of 38,887 tests conducted in a day.

The country has so far seen 559,248 recoveries, with 1,038 recorded on Saturday.

The health ministry on Sunday urged the public to strictly adhere to Covid-19 standard operating procedures to effectively counter the disease.

"Covid-19 is a deadly virus but we can control it just as we controlled it by following the SoPs during the first wave. The government is seeking your full cooperation in adhering to the SoPs," an official said.

"We can save precious lives including those of our near and dear ones by taking preventive measures. Wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash hands with soap frequently and avoid crowded places," he added.

"Do celebrate weddings but please keep the gatherings limited and take all precautions by following the SoPs. We are a strong nation and can defeat the coronavirus but for that cooperation from every citizen is imperative."

With over 590,508 confirmed cases in the country to date, the government is once again taking strict measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus infection in the country.

"Provincial governments are following suit with health departments and administrative services enforcing necessary preventive measures at public places and encouraging people to protect themselves and others from the virus by adhering to the SoPs," the official said.

With the increase in the number of coronavirus infections, the number of patients in the hospitals had also increased.

"This has happened because we did not continue to follow the SoPs. We must wear a mask when going out as it reduces transmission of infection by 70%," Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Joint Executive Director Minhaj Us Siraj said

"Proper handwashing with soap is very beneficial and so is social distancing. If we continue to practice all SoPs, I assure you that we will counter the second wave of Covid-19 just as successfully as we managed the first time," he added.

"I request people to alter their social behavior in terms of following the SoPs strictly so that neither our health system is overburdened, nor is the economic development affected. We must also follow the instructions of the NCOC for avoiding mass gatherings. And within our families, we must adhere to the SoPs and take special care of the elderly and those showing symptoms."

The PIMS official said the difficulties caused by the first wave of outbreak was tackled by Pakistan in a very efficient manner. Responsible civic behavior of the general public made it possible and now that the second wave of Covid-19 has hit Pakistan and we need the people to follow the SoPs very diligently.

Another senior healthcare expert asked citizens to ensure that they washed their hands frequently, wore a mask properly when going out, did not go out unnecessarily, and maintained social distancing with others.

"We need to take all possible measures to curb and curtail this disease," Dr Sharif Astori, a senior doctor said.

"We managed to control the situation well, however, just as the number of cases started to decrease, we became complacent in taking precautions against the virus."

He urged citizens to avoid public gatherings, wear a mask when they leave their house, including when shopping at the market and if praying at a mosque, wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds, or with a sanitizer regularly, refrain from touching eyes, nose, mouth, and ears with unwashed hands, stay at least six feet away from other people and stay at home in case they developed Covid-19 symptoms.

 

With input from app

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