- Karachi, which is under 'partial' lockdown, administers 94,388 doses in 24 hours
- Govt picks up pace amid reports of chaos and long queues at mass vaccination centres
- Pakistan reports another 4,858 cases at 8.6% positivity in the last 24 hours
Karachi: The Government of Sindh said it has vaccinated on August 1 a total of 211,911 citizens against the novel coronavirus as it races to curtail the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
In a tweet on Monday, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that the number of vaccination has sharply increased over the last few days. He also shared a breakdown of the doses administered across the province during the last 24 hours.
As per the data, Karachi, the worst-hit city by the novel virus, administered 94,388 doses during the last 24 hours, taking the total number to 3,600,110. In Sindh, 6,655,271 doses have been administered so far.
Fear of the spread of the Delta variant as well as multiple warnings by the government have prompted the people to rush to vaccination centres in the port city, causing a stampede-like situation at Karachi's Expo Centre on the weekend.
In order to prevent overcrowding at the Expo Centre and Khaliqdina Hall, the provincial government decided on Sunday to make 10 vaccination centres in the port city operational for 24 hours starting Monday.
The facilities where round the clock vaccination services would be provided include Ojha campus of DOW University, Khaliq Dina Hall, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Children Hospital Karachi, New Karachi hospital, Qatar Hospital, Murad Memon Goth hospital, a government hospital in Korangi block 5 and Lyari college.
Overall, Pakistan has vaccinated over 30 million people against the virus. The government plans to inoculate 40 percent of the population in big cities by the end of August. In a tweet, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has urged everyone to get vaccinated, saying that vaccination remains a crucial tool in Pakistan's effort to tackle the fourth Covid-19 wave.
Meanwhile, Karachi is currently under partial lockdown till August 8.
"We cannot afford to see our health system getting choked," Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said earlier in a press conference.
"Almost 100% of the recent cases that have been reported in Karachi are of the Delta strain. For the last three days, more than 2,500 coronavirus cases have been reported in Sindh."
He maintained that the lockdown aims to stop the spread of the deadly virus and protect lives, stressing the need for people to get vaccinated. "We will move towards re-opening on August 9 if the situation improves."
During this period, there will be a ban on inter-city travel and all markets will remain closed. Pharmacies and businesses associated with the export sector will be allowed to operate.
Moreover, the Sindh government has also decided to withhold salaries of public sector employees as well as block SIMs of unvaccinated people.
Pakistan's continues to report uptick in coronavirus cases
The country has been witnessing the fourth wave of Covid-19 due to the Delta variant, which has now reached 132 countries and territories. During the last 24 hours, 56,414 tests were conducted across the country, out of which 4,858 came out positive.
So far, the country has reported 1,039,695 Covid-19 cases. The positivity ratio was recorded at 8.61% during the last 24 hours. There are 3,441 critical and 73,213 active coronavirus cases in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the disease also claimed 40 more lives, taking the tally to 23,462.
Overall, Sindh remained the most affected region in the country with 385,414 infections, followed by Punjab which has reported 357,735 cases so far. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remains third on the list with 144,848 cases. Islamabad recorded 88,093 cases, Balochistan 30,502, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 24,891while Gilgit Baltistan has reported 8,212 infections so far.
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has hinted at restrictions in some cities.
The National Command and Operation Centre will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the surge in coronavirus cases and the measures to curtail the spread of the virus.
"We will present recommendation to the Prime Minister in the meeting where it would be decided which sectors are being closed down and to what extent," Umar said.