More doses flown in to improve vaccination drive

Special PIA flight brings in 2m Sinovac jabs


Our Correspondent June 23, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

Coronavirus vaccination availability across the country improved with the arrival of 2 million doses purchased from China on an emergency basis, while Qatar pledged a donation of another 1 million doses to be delivered to the country soon.

Country faced a shortage of the vaccine doses, which disrupted the nationwide drive over the weekend.

To cope with the situation, the government placed purchase orders for millions of doses with China, on the one hand, and increased the gap between the two jabs to six weeks, on the other.

On Wednesday, a special flight of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) brought 2 million doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine from China. Last Sunday, another PIA special flight had brought 1.55 million doses to Pakistan. More doses are expected from China by the end of this month.

“With the arrival of this consignment, daily average inoculation of the vaccine doses across the country will be enhanced considerably, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which supervises the national effort to overcome the global pandemic, said in a statement.

“The consignment is part of the planned contracted quantity purchased from China,” the NCOC statement said. “The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is spearheading the purchase process of vaccines from international market under the auspices of the NCOC,” it added.

Read more Vaccination grinds to halt at most centres

Also Qatar's Ambassador Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman bin Faisel Al Thani met National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and announced his country’s donation of 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Pakistan, according to a handout from the National Assembly Secretariat.

The NCOC said that the vaccine doses would be deployed to all the vaccine centres across the country for which arrangements were already in place. Currently, the vaccine is being administered at more than 2,000 centres, where more than three to four million people are being vaccinated every day.

Meanwhile, the NCOC said in its daily update that the national tally of active Covid-19 cases came down to 33,005, as 930 more people tested positive for the virus while 1,338 people recovered from the disease during the last 24 hours. The national positivity ratio during past 24 hours was 2%, it added.

Also during the past 24 hours, the update said, 39 patients, including 19 on ventilators, died, raising the nationwide death toll since the pandemic’s outbreak in February 2020 to 22,073. On Tuesday, it added, most of the deaths, 13, occurred in Punjab, followed by 6 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

At present, 2,173 Covid infected patients were under treatment in critical care in various Covid-dedicated healthcare facilities, including 262 on ventilators, in past 24 hours. Overall, 2,415 coronavirus patients were admitted to various hospitals across the country.

The national caseload of the disease stood at 950,768, of whom 895,690 people have made full recovered, making it a significant count of over 90% recovery ratio. A total of 14,232,960 coronavirus tests had been conducted so far, the NCOC update said.

(WITH INPUT FROM APP)

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