KARACHI: The Sindh Government has announced to start COVID-19 vaccination of frontline healthcare workers, including doctors, paramedics, laboratory technicians, and COVID test collection teams deputed to conduct testing door-to-door from February 3, 2021, in ten severely COVID hit districts of the province.
The vaccination will be started in seven districts of Karachi, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Jamshoro. The Provincial Minister for Information, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, and Parliamentary Secretary Health, MPA Qasim Siraj Soomro, made this announcement in a recent press conference held at the Sindh Assembly Committee Room.
The Information Minister stated that China was providing 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to the federal government, and Sindh will get 83,359 doses. He informed that the Sindh government would receive the vaccine on January 31, 2021.
Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that the Health Department, from its own resources, has allocated PKR 1.5 billion for the purchase of different COVID-19 vaccines. Besides, the Sindh government has also allocated appropriate funds for the procurement of vaccines, but the Sindh government required permission for directly procuring the vaccine.
The Minister said that Chief Minister Sindh had written a letter to the federal government, but no reply has been received yet. He said that a private donor group has also committed to providing Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccination for 20 percent of Pakistan’s population. He said that on the directives PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, and Sindh Health Minister, Dr Azra Pechuhu, were trying hard to procure the COVID vaccines so that everyone in the province could be given a dose free of cost.
He said that the Sindh government had contacted many companies and donor agencies around the in this regard. The Provincial Minister said that in a meeting with the World Bank at the Chief Minister House, we requested their support for COVID vaccine procurement.
On the occasion, the Parliamentary Secretary on Health, MPA Qasim Siraj Soomro, added that they have 170,000 frontline health care workers registered with them and added that priority would be given to those working in the ICU, laboratory technicians, and team members deputed to collect samples from door-to-door. He said that ten districts were identified based on registered data and COVID positivity ratio.
He said that the ratio of COVID positive cases in Karachi reached 22 percent, 26 percent in Hyderabad, and then district Shaheed Benazirabad.
Responding to the question, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that they welcome the private sector to support us in vaccinating the people of Sindh free of cost, but the private sector should be certified by relevant authorities. On Transparency International, the Provincial Minister said that Imran Khan used to wave the reports of Transparency International in the past but now he himself and his ministers were saying that there was nothing in the report against their tenure.
Syed Nasir Shah said that he got it translated in Urdu and Sindhi and found nowhere that report of transparency belonged to a period earlier than 2018.
Replying to another question, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah added that Sindh received PKR 70 billion fewer shares from the federal government to date and said that Sindh’s promises