pakistan covid vaccine
A man receives the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine from a health worker at a drive-through vaccination centre, in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, July 31, 2021. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: In view of a surge in number of COVID-19 cases and positivity rate touching 8.40 per cent in the federal capital, the Islamabad District Health Department has decided to do away with the weekly off-day at the vaccination centres and declared seven centres in the district to provide services throughout the week from 8.00am to 8.00pm.

According to a circular issued by a Deputy Secretary of the Health Ministry, seven vaccination centres — Mass Vaccination Centre, F-9 Park; the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS); Federal Government Polyclinic (FGPC); Capital Development Authority (CDA) Hospital; Vaccination Centre Tarlai and Vaccination Centre Shah Allah Ditta — will remain open seven days of the week to administer jabs to the public from 8am until 8pm.

According to District Health Officer (DHO) of Islamabad Dr Zaeem Zia, the step has been taken in view of the fourth wave of COVID-19 as Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading fast in the country.

The United States (US) Centre for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention a day earlier, identified that Delta variant was ‘likely more severe’ than early versions of the virus and is spreading like wildfire.

Dr Zia quoted the CDC report that Delta is as contagious as chickenpox and far more contagious than the common cold or flu.

New lockdown orders for Islamabad

The Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) has re-imposed restrictions in the federal capital to check and control the fast spreading Delta variant of COVID-19 in the district.

According to new restrictions, Saturday and Sunday will be closed days in the ICT and there shall be a complete ban on all activities including commercial activities during the two days.

Deputy Commissioner in a tweet shared the circular according to which cinemas and shrines will remain closed and the closing time for markets will be 8pm.

Public transport is allowed to resume service with 50 per cent passengers. Similarly, offices too have been directed to call 50 per cent staff. The notification further says that all indoor functions/weddings have been banned and all contact sports, pools and other functions where people are under risk to come in close contact with one another have been closed.

Public parks, however, will remain open under strict COVID-19 SOPs. Likewise, gyms and indoor courts (tennis, badminton, squash) shall be allowed to open only for vaccinated individuals/members.

Another day of more than 1 million doses

Pakistan administered more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the second consecutive day and according to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) 1.139 million doses were administered across the country on August 3.

Earlier, on August 2, 1.072 million doses were administered. According to the NCOC figures, 46 deaths were caused by COVID-19 and 4,722 new cases reported against 57,398 tests in the country.

The overall positivity rate remained 8.22 per cent in the country while the number of active cases surged from 75,373 on Tuesday to 78,595 on Wednesday.