Police diverts traffic as a partial lockdown is imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus in Karachi on July 31, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: A record 900,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Pakistan in a day, the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) data revealed yesterday, taking the total to 29.648,055 (29.64 million) since the vaccination drive began early this year.

Asad Umar, Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiative, who is also Chairman of the NCOC, in a tweet said vaccine records were being set on a daily basis and Friday happened to be the fifth consecutive day when a record number of vaccine doses, more than 900,000, were administered in one day.

“Vaccination records continue to be set daily. 5th straight day record vaccinations carried out. Yesterday the vaccination number crossed 9 lakh for the first time. 2,600 vaccination centres & 2,979 mobile units operating across Pakistan, to make this massive campaign possible,” said the minister in his tweet.

About the Sindh government’s lockdown from July 31 till August 8 amid rising Covid-19 cases with focus on Karachi, Asad Umar hoped the provincial government would reconsider its decision of curbs on public transport and industries.

“We had conveyed to the provincial government about our concerns and they made some amendments and we hope they would further ease them, he said, adding if every province made its own decision and solely relied on its own resources, we would never have succeeded against coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab, announced the provincial government had amended the earlier 9-day lockdown plan, easing a few restrictions, including resumption of taxis, rickshaws, motorcycle rickshaws.

This aims at encouraging people to visit vaccination centres in their respective areas, he said.

The provincial government has lifted the ban on pillion riding and allowing transport within the limits of Karachi.

The Sindh government notified the following revisions in the coronavirus lockdown restrictions: Milk shops, bakeries and carriage vehicles for dairy products exempted from timing restrictions, i.e: 6pm to 6am; home delivery from restaurants as well as under e-commerce permitted, provided delivery personnel are fully vaccinated; industrial establishments/premises other than export-oriented industries and related with manufacture/production of essential services may also be made functional given all employees at the industries are fully vaccinated; fertilizers/pesticide shops and warehouses are exempted from timing restrictions provided that the entire staff working at these premises is fully vaccinated; small public transport (taxi, cab, rickshaw, Qingqi, etc) may ply within the city limits; large public transport (buses, mini-buses and wagons) may ply within the city limits for public transportation exclusively and only to and from the designated vaccination centres; the restriction of not carrying more than two persons in private vehicles is also waived-off.

65 deaths, 4,950 cases in 24 hours

Pakistan on Saturday reported 65 deaths and 4,950 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours with coronavirus positivity rate at 8.46 per cent.

According to the NCOC, the number of active cases in the country had jumped past 66,287. In Karachi, however, the positivity rate had reached the alarming proportion of over 25 per cent forcing the provincial government of Sindh to announce emergency steps.