- Federal Health Minister Qadir Patel says government will start vaccination process within a month or two
Pakistan announced on Wednesday its decision to start vaccinating children aged five to seven against the novel coronavirus as the country expands its inoculation drive amid the rising number of Covid-19 infections.
Speaking to the media, Federal Health Minister Qadir Patel said that the government will start vaccinating those in the young age group within a month or two, adding that the government is hopeful of receiving 6.8 million doses from Pfizer in August or September.
He also said Covid-19 cases had increased in the last few days, and warned that the number of cases could worsen during Eid-ul-Azha and Muharram.
Patel urged the public to follow standard operating procedures, adding that the government has also decided to increase mass testing across the country.
So far, 86% of the country's population has been fully vaccinated while 93% have received at least one dose.
Currently, the country has the capacity to vaccinate more than 200,000 people per day, as per Radio Pakistan.
Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged citizens to use masks and sanitizers in cattle markets, weddings and private gatherings ahead of Eid-ul-Adha.
The PM paid tribute to the services of the National Command and Operation Centre, doctors and health workers in the fight against Covid, and said those health workers who died during pandemic sacrificed themselves to protect the people.
Pakistan reported 541 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours, the highest since March 11 when it recorded 571 positive cases.
Experts say Pakistan may potentially witness another Covid-19 outbreak as the country continues to see a hike in new cases. The positivity ratio was recorded at 3.50% during the last 24 hours.
As per the National Institute of Health (NIH), 15,462 tests were conducted nationwide in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of tests that have taken place in the country since the pandemic began to 28,974,223.