Pakistan vaccine covid
People stand in a queue to register to receive a dose of the COVID-19 coronavirus Sinopharm vaccine at a vaccination centre in Rawalpindi on June 11, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Owing to unavailability of COVID-19 vaccine, the inoculation drive across Pakistan remained suspended at most of the vaccination centres in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on Saturday and Sunday.

Sindh is the worst-affected province where operation at 90 vaccination centres was crippled due to shortage of the coronavirus vaccine.

According to the health department of the province, very few vaccine jabs were administered at the 26 vaccination centres in Karachi District East, 13 vaccination centres in District Central, 13 in District West, 8 in Malir District, 8 in Korangi Town and 26 centres in District South.

On Sunday there were no vaccine jabs available at vaccination centres set up at Khaliq Dina Hall, Lyari General Hospital, Central District Children hospital, New Karachi Hospital and Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad.

People return unattended from Lahore Expo Centre

In Lahore, too, vaccine shortage was reported and people were sent back from the Expo Centre on Saturday with the advice to return on Monday.

Vaccine administration remained suspended also at other vaccination centres across the city.

At Lahore Expo Centre, after entry was refused, enraged people resorted protested and broke open the main gate.

The protesters alleged that despite reports of vaccine shortage a couple of weeks back the provincial and federal governments did little to ensure uninterrupted supply to avoid a crisis that has now deepened further.

In Islamabad’s Mass Vaccination Centre set up at F-9 Park, the visitors complained about non-administration of jabs on Saturday.

However, Director General Health Dr Muhammad Safdar, said it was not availability of vaccine, but people’s insistence for vaccines of their ‘choice’ that was the problem. He admitted there were some constraints but after a fresh batch of vaccines arrived on Sunday, the matter would be resolved.

Fresh supply of 1.55 million jabs arrives on Sunday

Responding to COVID-19 vaccine shortage, the NCOC took emergency measures and a fresh batch of 1.55 million doses of coronavirus vaccine arrived in Pakistan on Sunday morning.

A special PIA flight brought vaccine doses to Islamabad from China, the NCOC said in a statement, adding measures were underway to ensure uninterrupted vaccine supply to Pakistan.

Another batch of 2 to 3 million doses of coronavirus vaccine would arrive next week, it further said.

Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiative and Chairman of the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC), Asad Umar, also announced the country was receiving a fresh supply of COVID-19 vaccines arriving on Sunday and another 5 million in the next 10 days.

Sindh to open primary schools from Monday, eases restrictions from June 28

The Sindh government has decided to reopen primary schools from Monday, June 21. The decision was made during a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. It was also decided to open shrines, gyms, swimming pools, amusement parks from June 28.

The meeting was told that so far 3,243,988 doses of vaccines had been received, of which 2,873,857 were utilised and only 370,141 were remaining.

The chief minister, keeping in view the available stock of the vaccine doses, decided to close all vaccination centres only on Sunday, June 20, said a statement issued by the provincial government.

Pakistan on Sunday reported 37 deaths and 1,050 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the last 24 hours. According to the NCOC, during the last 24 hours, 41,065 tests were conducted that showed a 2.55 per cent positivity rate of COVID-19 in the country.