Karachi mask boy motorcycle Pakistan
A boy wears a protective face mask as he rides on a motorcycle with a member of his family along a road, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Karachi, Pakistan. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Health Ministry has submitted a report in the Sindh High Court according to which the country with the help of World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) is targeting 23.5 million of its population for vaccination.

In its reply filed before the Sindh High Court (SHC) in response to two petitions seeking vaccination of people, the ministry of National Health Services has informed the court that a cabinet committee for COVID-19 vaccine procurement has been set up and an amount of $150 million (Dh550.980 million) is allocated for this purpose.

The ministry further submitted that 1.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine had been received through a grant and 1 million doses through procurement and 60,000 doses of CanSinoBio were also procured.

It said that 5 million doses of Sinopharm would arrive later this month while 3 million doses of CanSinoBio were likely to be received during the current month.

After Eid

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has announced that the Pakistan government plans to open registration for COVID-19 vaccination for all citizens of all age groups after Eid-ul-Fitr (mid of May).

He said this while talking to media persons here Thursday. The announcement comes a day after over 100 deaths were reported for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, taking the overall tally to 15,000 mortalities.

He termed the next five to six weeks of critical importance in its fight against the ongoing 3rd wave of the virus in Pakistan.

The minister who is also chairman of the command & control centre responsible for the measures to check and prevent spread of coronavirus in the country said the private sector had also started vaccination of the citizens and so far 14,000 people have received vaccination there, while 1.1 million were inoculated as part of the government campaign.

The minister said China was Pakistan’s “primary source” for vaccination for now, adding that the Cansino Covid-19 vaccine would also be available in the country after Eid.

Highest number

“We will be able to vaccinate more than 125,000 people per day after Eid,” Umar told media persons.

Pakistan on Thursday conducted 49,817 tests for COVID-19 out of which 5,329 were found positive—the highest number of cases in a day since June 2020. According to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) 98 deaths were also reported during the last twenty-four hours.

The country’s total number of cases on Thursday stood at 705,517 after addition of the latest cases while the death toll surged to 15,124.

The positivity rate has also gone to 10.7 percent while there are 66,994 active cases in the country.