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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar Thursday said the government, so far has spent around $250 million to procure Covid vaccines. Taking to Twitter the minister said “The acceleration of vaccination drive in the country is being made possible by huge investment by the federal government,” he said, adding that “so far the procurement of vaccine has reached nearly quarter of a billion dollars”.

In his tweet, he said the government would spend much more in the next fiscal year for the vaccines’ procurement.

Earlier, in the day, while chairing a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Umar expressed serious concerns over the non-compliance of the Covid-19 SOPs.

The forum reviewed the implementation of the SOPs across the country and decided to take all possible steps to ensure implementation of the SOPs along with pursuing the mass vaccination campaign.

The forum also directed all the federating units to check the growing trend of non-implementation of SOPs to mitigate the possible spread of the disease in the country.

Later in the day, the chairman NCOC after inaugurating a Covid-19 vaccination centre at a Shopping Mall in the federal capital while talking to the media persons, said that with the start of setting up of vaccination centres in different public places the burden on hospitals would be shared and more people would be able to get coronavirus vaccine.

The minister said that the citizens intending to perform Hajj this year, working abroad on work visas issued by countries that did not recognise vaccination certificates of Chinese vaccines and students planning to go to educational institutes in such countries within a month would be given priority for the administration of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine brand.

The government has ordered import of one million Pfizer vaccine doses and so far has received 100,000 vaccines under the COVAX program of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He said that on request of the government to come forward in this cause, the chamber of commerce and traders of the federal capital have extended their full support to the government in its ongoing vaccination process as traders’ community was also badly affected from the virus.

He said that so far the federal capital was leading with regard to vaccination against the Covid-19. He expressed the hope that there would be motivational trend in all cities to take lead for having highest number of vaccinations.

Umar said that the government has already established mass vaccination centre at F-9 Park to vaccinate 7,000 citizens against Covid-19 daily from 75 counters.

He said it was the responsibility of every eligible citizen to visit the vaccination centre and protect them against coronavirus.

“We want to end all restrictions as early as possible including the opening of educational institutes and markets, but it depends on meeting the target of the maximum number of vaccination in the country.”

He said that they still need to continue all such measures as still many patients were on oxygen across the country.

He said that a massive awareness drive has been started with the support of traders’ organizations, markets organizations, and Ulema.

He added youths of Islamabad have also been engaged in this campaign to educate citizens about the importance of vaccination.

He assured that the provision of vaccines to every city of the country was the responsibility of the federal government, and added that there was no shortage of vaccines.

He said that so far, good results have been achieved from the vaccination.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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