NCOC plans to vaccinate 70m by year-end

ISLAMABAD: While under 2,000 new Covid-19 cases and less than four per cent positivity rate were reported on the second consecutive day on Wednesday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) decided to launch a campaign to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of current year.

The campaign is aimed at reducing adverse effects of the viral disease to provide substantial flexibility to the business fraternity to enable them to continue their businesses with minimum restrictions.

Meanwhile, the number of active Covid-19 cases has decreased by 40pc in the last two months. A significant decrease in the number of hospitalised patients has also been observed.

A meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, had decided to expedite vaccination to achieve herd immunity at the earliest. It was also decided that various segments of public and private sectors would be involved in the vaccination process under the “whole of the nation approach”.

According to a statement issued by the NCOC, the mass vaccination drive strategy revolves around three objectives: motivation of public through effective media partnership, capacity building of existing vaccination infrastructure and uninterrupted supply of vaccine, including indigenous production which has begun on Tuesday with the launching of PakVac by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

The NIH has prepared 120,000 doses of the vaccine, from the concentrate of Chinese company Cansino’s single dose vaccine, and aims to produce three million doses every month.

“A target to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of this year has been set by NCOC. All federating units have been taken on board to enhance their vaccination capacity for which federal government will provide necessary assistance. Federating units have also been asked to engage private sector including business community, media, religious scholars and other departments for close collaboration in this campaign,” the statement said.

Two special sessions of the NCOC, chaired by its chairman Asad Umar, were held and attended by representatives of media houses, chambers of commerce and the Pakistan Business Council. The participants assured the NCOC of their organisations’ support to contribute to the national mass vaccination campaign.

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar highlighted that the campaign was aimed at reducing adverse effects of disease to provide a substantial flexibility to business fraternity to enable them to continue their businesses with minimum restrictions. The participants were assured of all out support in vaccinating their employees and families.

Later Mr Umar said in a tweet: “Held special NCOC session today with all major chambers in Pakistan. I want to thank the business leadership for willingness to participate in vaccination drive to help Govt accelerate the vaccination campaign & open up the economy while safeguarding health of the nation.

The vaccine statistics show that on Tuesday as many as 305,093 doses were administered and number of total vaccine doses administered is 7,953,574.

According to data of the NCOC, 80 deaths occurred and 1,843 people tested Covid-19 positive with the positivity rate of 3.91pc. The other day 1,771 cases with the positivity rate of 3.72pc were reported.

The number of active cases, which was over 90,000 in April, has fallen by around 40pc as there were 55,052 active cases as of Wednesday. There were 446 patients on ventilators and the number of patients admitted to hospitals was 4,088. In April there were around 7,000 patients admitted to hospitals across the country.

Published in Dawn,