Booster shot campaign expanded as Covid spreads fast

NCOC reports single day tally of 3,571; age limit for booster Covid jab reduced to 18 years

Our Correspondent January 14, 2022
People patiently wait in a queue for their anti-Covid jabs at a vaccination centre in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: INP/FILE


The single-day tally of fresh coronavirus cases stayed above 3,000 for second consecutive day on Friday, as the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) stepped up its campaign for booster shots of anti-Covid jabs.

The infectious disease is spreading fast in the country, dubbed the ‘fifth wave’ of the pandemic driven by the Omicron variant of coronavirus. Authorities have repeatedly urged the masses to get vaccine shots as early as possible to prevent the disease from spreading.

Read Omicron pushing Covid out of pandemic phase: EU agency

The NCOC – which serves as the nerve centre of the government’s unified effort to contain the spread of the pandemic – said in its daily update that there were 3,571 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, up from 3,015 a day earlier.

It said that the national positivity ratio rose to as high as 7.4%. At present, the forum said the number of active Covid cases had topped 26,000, including 675 in critical condition. It added that 362 patients made full recovery in the last 24 hours.

Most of the cases, 2,321, were detected in Sindh, according to the NCOC data. The situation is alarming in the provincial capital of Karachi, 2,081 cases emerged in the last 24 hours, raising the positivity rate to 28.8% — the highest in the country.

The NCOC reviewed the Covid situation in a meeting on Friday and decided to expand the booster shot campaign by reducing the eligibility age. It said that all citizens aged 18 years and above would be eligible for a free anti-Covid booster dose from Saturday.

“In today’s NCOC session, age limit for booster dose has been further reduced. From tomorrow onwards, citizens over 18 years will be eligible for free booster dose of their choice. Booster (one dose) will be administered after 6 months gap from complete vaccination,” the forum said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that the Covid-19 was spreading fast. "On January 1, we had 300 cases. More than 2,000 cases were detected on January 12 – an increase of more than 2,000 cases per day in 12 days,” he added

However, the chief minister stressed that the provincial government was not planning to impose lockdown. Chief Minister Shah added that the province would follow the decision of the NCOC regarding lockdown or schools closure.

Also the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday notified new quarantine policy for passengers at the airport or the international border terminals in the province in light of the NCOC's quarantine policy. It said that the Covid-affected passengers would be shifted to quarantine at home for 10 days. (With input from APP)




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