The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in collaboration with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) organised a zoom meeting with chambers of commerce and industry of the country on Wednesday to discuss the mechanism for setting up vaccination centres (VCs) at the premises of chambers, associations and industrial areas.
The initiative is aimed at to increase the vaccination of business community, their employees and families in order to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and lift restrictions on businesses.
Addressing the meeting, Federal Minister for Planning and Development and NCOC Chairman Asad Umar said that with the right decisions of the government, Pakistan was poised to achieve 5 per cent economic growth this year and 6 per cent next year.
He stated that the government wanted to set up VCs in the premises of trade bodies to increase vaccination drive across the country in collaboration with the private sector. He shared the plan of setting up VCs with the participants and sought their cooperation for its early execution.
The minister maintained that every trade body should nominate a focal person to work with the District Health Office and District Coordination Office of their respective areas for setting up VCs. He added that the government would arrange the supply and distribution of vaccines at VCs and these VCs would be connected with the NADRA system for updating the vaccination database.
Umar said that the government wanted to increase the VCs from 1,700 to more than 4,000 across the country for the inoculation of maximum number of people as it is the only way to come out of the pandemic and normalise business activities. He assured that the restrictions on businesses would be lifted in proportion to the reduction in positivity rate of the virus.
ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan urged that VCs be set up at ICCI, main markets and shopping malls of Islamabad to maximise the vaccination of the business community, their employees and families. He said that ICCI has already discussed this proposal with DHO and would fully support this drive for removing all restrictions on businesses.
He maintained that ICCI will take the lead by setting up the very first vaccination centre in private sector at Centaurus by tomorrow with separate counters for males and females for the vaccination of business community, employees, tenants and walk-in customers.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2021.