pakistan vaccine covid
A teacher receives the first shot of the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine from a paramedic in a vaccination centre at a school, in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, May 28, 2021. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: After announcing relaxation in COVID-19-related restrictions, the number of cases as well as positivity rate is slowly but going up in Pakistan. On Sunday, more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported during the last 24 hours.

According to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) Pakistan’s positivity rate was 2.57 per cent on Sunday with 29 deaths and 1,228 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours.

In the same period, 47,832 tests for COVID-19 were conducted.

The NCOC figures reveal that the number of active cases is also on the rise from 32,319 on Saturday to 32,621 on Sunday.

Islamabad’s positivity jumps past 3 per cent

In the wake of the recent protests by those who are to travel to the Gulf or European countries for work or studies, the coronavirus positivity in Islamabad has increased from below 1 per cent to above 3 per cent in the last seven days.

The protesters had held that due to non-administration of Pfizer or Astrazeneca vaccines — both are acceptable in the Middle East and the European countries— their jobs as well as studies were at stake.

They are now being administered the Moderna vaccine Pakistan received from the US two days ago. This vaccine is also acceptable in the above-mentioned regions.

According to the district health department, peoples’ growing indifference to following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for COVID-19 had also contributed to the return of COVID-19 cases in Islamabad. After tests, 71 people were found infected with COVID-19 while the positivity rate remained 3.19 per cent in the capital.

COVID-19 risk allowance approved for health workers

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has decided to pay the COVID-19 health risk allowance to frontline health workers after passage of almost a year.

The ministry has reluctantly agreed to pay the overdue amount after the Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaisar sought a report from the Health Secretary about non-payment of Health Risk Allowance to the employees of government hospitals in the capital.

Last year, the health risk allowance was paid to a majority of healthcare workers but there were complaints that some of them were paid more compared to others.

During a session of the National Assembly on June 28, the speaker had pointed out that the healthcare workers had not been paid the COVID-19 health risk allowance for 11 months and sought an explanation from the Health Secretary.

After the speaker’s intervention, the ministry in a letter on Saturday said the hospitals have been directed to submit the lists of healthcare workers, by July 5, who performed COVID-19 duties.