Army’s help sought to fight Covid

Health minister says 7.3 million people in K-P have been inoculated

Shahid Hameed August 29, 2021

Provincial Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra has said that army’s help has been sought in controlling the Covid-19 situation and a mechanism is being set for this.

Addressing a news conference here in Peshawar along with Special Assistance to CM on Information Kamran Bangash, Jhagra said that around 7.3 million people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province so far and Chitral district has been on the top of the vaccination drive.

Read NCOC bans train travel for unvaccinated citizens from Oct 1

He said that the situation in the fourth wave was really critical and general masses should cooperate with the government otherwise government would have no option but to go for strict measures including blocking of salaries of those government employees who are resisting the vaccination and they had sought the help of Pakistan army for which a mechanism is being set.

Jhagra said that the government was not in favour of closing bazaar and complete lockdown but if the situation is out of control then they will be left with no other option.

He said that in the Task Force meeting the situation was discussed in depth. He said that in Chitral and other districts the vaccination drive was in full swing but in rural Peshawar, Charsadda, Kurram and Orakzai the process was really slow and those districts where there is resistance against vaccination will be punished.

“The Delta variant was first detected in India and it spreads rapidly as in the past 24 hours the positivity ratio in the province has been recorded at 5.2 per cent,” he said, adding that in the hospitals there were 680 patients on low oxygen and 840 on high oxygen.

“There are challenges in some districts including Abbotabad, Mardan and Peshawar as far as vaccination drive is concerned. In Swabi, Swat, Nowshera, Bannu and DI Khan there are 1,360 patients in 13 hospitals,” he said, adding that till Friday around 7.3 million people had been vaccinated in the province.

The minister added that around 30 per cent population had received at least one dose in the province and they had achieved 200,000 vaccination in a single day in K-P, adding that in Chitral around 65.8 per cent population had been vaccinated successfully including 40 per cent with both the doses.

“Haripure, Abbotabad, Manshera and Kurram are the districts with resistance against vaccination. We have to take strict measures including blocking of SIMs and those government employees who would resist the vaccination, their salaries will also be blocked,” he said, adding that there will be two public holidays in the province and the businesses will be closed by 8 pm each night.

“On Friday around 32,000 people were vaccinated in Peshawar and we have a target of vaccinating one million people in two months,” claimed Jhagra, adding that those people who got themselves registered, around 76 percent received vaccination.

Jhagra said that they were aware of bogus vaccination certificates and the system was being improved, urging the traders’ community to cooperate with the government in the vaccination drive otherwise in the event of a lockdown, traders would suffer the most.

“Two percent patients are at the hospitals. The vaccine is 95 per cent effective. We are starting the vaccination of children under 17 and 15 at the schools in order to save our education system from collapse due to Corona.

Talking on the occasion Kamran Bangash said that the provincial cabinet could decide the local bodies’ election issue in the next week.

He said that the weather condition in Novermber and December will not permit polling in some districts and the Afghanistan situation as well as the Covid-19 situation was also worrisome. He said that the cabinet would hopefully make a decision by next week.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2021.


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