ISLAMABAD: With 37,289 health workers vaccinated against Covid-19 across the country since the launch of the vaccination campaign, the government on Monday opened the registration of people aged 65 and over.
In contrast, the country reported 1,048 more cases and 26 deaths in a single day.
At the same time, the representative body of doctors, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), has expressed reservations about giving companies the freedom to set the prices of vaccines.
In another development, following the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Pakistan decided to follow the mechanism already in place for Covid-19 to stop possible transmission of the deadly virus.
Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the vaccination campaign for health workers in Islamabad on February 2 after receiving 500,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharms vaccine. The journey started in the country the next day.
It was also announced that people over 65 would be vaccinated in the next phase.
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, announced that the second phase of registration had started.
All Pakistanis over 65 can start registering the Covid-19 vaccine today. Text from any mobile phone with your CNIC to 1166 or visit nims.nadra.gov.pk to sign up. The vaccination center and appointment date will be communicated once the vaccine arrives, the PM’s assistant tweeted.
Likewise, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar, in his tweet, said registration had started and vaccination would begin in March.
The PMA, meanwhile, expressed concern over allowing companies to sell vaccines without price caps.
PMA appreciates the federal government’s decision to allow private companies to import coronavirus vaccines, but the decision to exclude imported vaccines from the strict price cap regime that is generally applied to all drug sales in the country Is not fair. It will give free rein to companies to set the prices of the vaccines of their choice and therefore the prices will be higher, the association said in a statement.
PMA believes that the issue of vaccine pricing should be addressed in accordance with the rules applied to all imported drugs and that no price cap exemption should be granted to any imported corona vaccine, the statement added.
PMA Secretary General Dr Qaisar Sajjad said the association is also concerned about the vaccine supply chain and suggested that it should be strictly maintained to the required standards so that its effectiveness can be maintained. .
He said that the vaccination campaign for healthcare workers in Pakistan was progressing very slowly due to confusion among healthcare workers.
The government should launch a massive media campaign to allay suspicions and fears about the vaccine, Dr Sajjad said, adding that the vaccine, which is currently given to healthcare workers, was not recommended for people aged over 60.
We are calling on the government to immediately import such a vaccine that can be administered to healthcare workers over the age of 60, he said.
An official from the Ministry of National Health Services, asking not to be named, said 126,192 health workers had registered and 37,289 had been vaccinated across the country.
According to the National Command and Operation Center, 1,048 people tested positive and 26 lost their lives in a single day.
The total number of active cases in the country was recorded at 25,747 with 2,115 patients admitted to hospitals across the country.
As Ebola is likely to emerge as a new threat to the global community, Pakistan has decided to implement existing Covid-19 agreements to tackle the virus.
National Health Services Ministry spokesman Sajid Shah said arrangements were already in place at the country’s entry points and would be used to prevent the virus from entering the country.
The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola epidemic in Guinea. In 2014, cases of the Ebola virus were reported in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, the United States, Nigeria and Senegal.
From 2014 to 2016, no less than 28,000 cases, including 11,000 deaths, were reported.
Ebola is a rare and fatal disease that infects people. The viruses responsible for Ebola virus disease are mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa. People can become infected after coming into direct contact with an infected animal (bat or non-human primate) or a sick or deceased person infected with the virus.
Posted in Dawn, February 16, 2021
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