COVID-19 vaccine will be ‘free of charge’ in Pakistan

Dr Muattar Hanif 01:28 PM, 18 Dec, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Dr Faisal Sultan recently made it clear that the COVID-19 vaccine will be purchased by the government and its use will be free of cost.

The statement came as fatalities toll from the coronavirus jumped more than 100 for the first time in five months, according to data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) recently.

The nationwide death toll soared past a grim milestone of 9,000.

“The government has initiated working on multiple aspects related to purchasing of the vaccine in the country,” he said while addressing a media briefing at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Dr Sultan said the matters being discussed included effective immunisation system, side-effects of the vaccine, and ensuring a strong information technology system for the corona vaccine.

He said that the government will soon be able to share information on the date of availability of the corona vaccine in the country.

He said the vaccine purchase matters had also been discussed with the provinces.

Dr Faisal said that a specific amount has been allocated for the purchase of Corona vaccine and dispelled the impression that the private sector will soon start purchasing Corona vaccine.

He said that an important meeting was held with all provincial health representatives today to formulate a national-level strategy to contain the disease and proper implementation of the corona-related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

He said that the case positivity ratio remained 7% to 8% in various major cities while it was 19% in Karachi during the last 24 hours.

He added the increasing number of cases causing a burden on the health system. He said that deaths from the disease were also being reported across the country.

"We can save precious lives including those of our near and dear ones by taking preventive measures." Dr Faisal said, adding, "COVID-19 is a deadly virus but we can control it just as we did control it by following the SoPs during the first wave."

The NCOC update showed that 2,731 fresh cases were reported while 38,028 tests were conducted. It also said that the national positivity rate stood at 7.18% – slightly higher than 7.12% the other day. Around 2,265 patients recovered in the day – a recovery rate of 97.73%.

The death toll from the disease since it first emerged in the country in February rose to 9,010. The pandemic hit its peak in June with the death toll hovering around 100 by the middle of the month. According to the NCOC, the death rate also inched up to 2.27% on Wednesday.

As per the mortality analysis by NCOC COVID-19 had proven deadlier for males – 70% of whom lost lives. 77.5% were above the age of 50 years, 73% had chronic comorbidities, 91% of the deceased remained hospitalised and 58% of hospitalised patients remained on ventilators.

-Courtesy by APP



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