People gather to receive their coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine doses, at a vaccination centre in Karachi, Pakistan April 28, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Single-day vaccine shots top 1m

Islamabad becomes first city with vaccination of half of population

News Desk August 03, 2021

The country on Tuesday passed a major milestone of vaccinating 1 million people in a single day against Covid-19, making strides in the national inoculation campaign just weeks away from a deadline for workers in high risk sectors to obtain vaccination certificates.

The vaccination boost comes as National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) – the nerve centre of the government’s unified effort against coronavirus pandemic – battled to contain a deadlier fourth wave of the disease.

The NCOC said on Tuesday that the national tally of active Covid-19 cases rose to 75,373, as 3,582 more people tested positive for the virus while 1,355 people recovered from the disease during the last 24 hours.

The government announced certain Covid-induced restrictions in the country’s major cities on Monday. Last week, it said, workers in schools, hospitality businesses, transport and air travel industries would be barred from entering public offices unless they had gotten the vaccine shot.

“Happy to report that the target we had set for 1 million vaccinations in a day was crossed,” Planning Asad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, said in a tweet. Umar added that Islamabad had become the first city of the country where half of the population had received the Covid jab.

After Islamabad, Umar said, the ratio of vaccinated people was 35% in Peshawar and Rawalpindi, 28% in Faisalabad, 27% in Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Sargodha, 26% in Karachi and 25% in Hyderabad.


According to the NCOC, around 1,072,342 Covid-19 vaccine shots were administered to the eligible individuals across the country in a single day, raising the total number of vaccinated population to 31,929,581 across the country but only 6.7 million had been fully vaccinated.

The government started the nationwide vaccination campaign in February with frontline health workers getting the jabs on a priority. Later the campaign was expanded to all age group in phases, as more and more jabs were procured from different sources, mainly China.

On Tuesday, another batch of two million doses of the vaccine reached Islamabad from Beijing, donated by the China government. The country had also received millions of doses under the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covax arrangements.

After a sluggish start to the inoculation campaign, the new requirement for certificates of vaccination has led to a rush of people seeking shots, with queues stretching over a kilometre outside some vaccination centres, notably in Karachi.

According to the official data, the past six days of the week had a new “record” number of people getting the vaccine shots, the NCOC stated that a total of 5 million jabs were administered throughout the week.

Pakistan has seen soaring coronavirus infections, fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant, putting it’s the country’s health infrastructure under extreme pressure. Officials have said that more than 70% of new cases were Delta variant infections,, which originated from India.

According to the NCOC daily update, the national positivity ratio during the past 24 hours was 7.19%. It said that among the active Covid cases, 3,398 patients were under treatment in critical condition in various Covid dedicated healthcare facilities, including 325 on ventilators.

The forum said that 67 patients, 64 of whom were in hospitals, including 35 on ventilators, died during the past 24 hours. It added that most of the deaths, 36, occurred in Sindh, followed by 16 in Punjab. The nationwide death toll from the disease rose to 23,529.

Since the pandemic broke out in February 2020, the national caseload of the contagion has risen to 1,043,277. Among them, 944,375 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant recovery ratio of over 90%.



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