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Workers check the body temperature of students upon their arrival at a school, in Karachi on June 21, 2021. Authorities of Pakistan’s Sindh province reopened educational institutes following a steady decrease in deaths and infections from the coronavirus. Image Credit: AP

ISLAMABAD: Vaccination of citizens resumed across the country on Monday after a fresh supply of COVID-19 shots arrived from China a day earlier.

Karachi, where vaccination is underway 24/7, was the worst-hit after it ran out of stocks and had to suspend administration of jabs at all its 90 centres on Saturday and Sunday.

However on Monday, a large number of vcitizens were administered jabs at Khaliq Dina Hall and Expo Centre. According to the Sindh health department, there were sufficient doses of COVID-19 after the federal government supplied 432,000 jabs of Sinovac.

Pakistan had been facing vaccine shortage for a couple of days resulting in disruption of the vaccination drive. However, after 1.55 million doses arrived from China on Sunday, the process resumed across the country.

Appeals to masses to get vaccinated

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, in a message to mark the 68th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Benazir Bhutto, appealed to the masses to honour her memory by getting vaccinated.

Vaccination was also resumed in Lahore and the people started arriving at the Expo Centre in the early hours to avoid rush.

However, as only Sinovac was being administered there, many visitors who wanted to travel to the European and the Gulf countries which don’t recognise the Chinese vaccines had to return.

‘Walk-in facility caused vaccine shortage’

According to the Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Nausheen Hamid, the walk-in vaccination facilities were the main reason behind the shortage of vaccines in the country. With hundreds of new vaccination centres and expansion of the facilities across the country, the vaccination drive has slowed down and the government was taking measures to make sure ample stocks are available at the centres, she said.

The federal government said Dr Nausheen Hamid had set aside 1.1 billion rupees (Dh 25.593 million) for purchase of vaccines, she said, adding there was no role of middleman in the purchase of vaccines.

Pakistan toll crosses 22,000 mark

Although the number of new deaths and cases of COVID-19 in the country during the last 24 hours was as low as 30 and 907, respectively, yet with these single-day fatalities, Pakistan’s toll due to COVID-19 crossed 22,000 and the number cases also reached 949,175.