Asad Umar says hospital admissions are at highest point since start of pandemic

Sept 3, 2021: The government on Thursday made corona virus vaccination mandatory for any service after the number of hospital admissions of patients infected with the corona virus reached the highest level in the country.

Planning Minister Asad Omar, who also heads the government’s Unified Strategy against the pandemic, said the Indian-origin ‘Delta’ virus, which is fueling the country’s fourth wave of epidemics, was a different strain that spreads faster than any other variant.

The National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) in its special directive on Thursday announced that it would not provide any kind of services to non-vaccinated people after September 15 to control the deadly infectious disease under vaccination.

According to an official NCOC document shared by the APP, the forum has developed a phased strategy that emphasizes that a high proportion of vaccinations in the country is the key to success in controlling the pandemic. The document includes a detailed strategy for enforcing the government’s mandatory vaccination.

The sector-wise strategy included sector description, cut-off date for partial vaccination and full vaccination. The document states that if an individual is not entertained in the following areas, the vaccination standards as described below are not met.

For air travel, both domestic and international, including internal and external, partial vaccination was already in place, while full vaccination will take effect by September 30.

To control the risk of spreading the disease, shopping malls will ensure partial vaccination by August 31 and full vaccination by September 30.

Hotel and guest house reservations for partial vaccination by August 31st and full vaccination by September 30th.

Partial and full vaccination deadlines for staff of trains, buses, vans, beaches, taxis, home delivery services, etc. with September 15 and October 15, respectively.

Services in the public dealing offices of public and private institutions will be effective only for partially and fully vaccinated persons from September 15 and October 15, respectively, the government’s strategy document emphasized.

Only partially and fully vaccinated people will be allowed to travel by rail and road until September 15 and October 15, respectively.

Phase 1 will target public transport on motorways.

Phase 2 will allow public transport, intra and intercity private transport and mass transit transport on national highways Metro, BRT, Orange Train, etc., only for partially and fully vaccinated by September 30 and October 31.

The NCOC also provided an implementation mechanism for all federating units, beginning with the soft start of the obligatory government.

“First phase ie Soft Launch (1-15 September) will be used for extensive communication and advertisement at prominent places (Bus stands, ticketing offices, toll plazas, rest areas and railways stations),” it added.

“The people will not be denied any facility, instead they will be asked to get vaccinated,” the forum said, adding that the federating units would ensure availability of mob vaccination teams at the required places.

The forum also proposed a three-tier monitoring mechanism. The first level of self-monitoring will be maintained by the owners of malls, hotels, restaurants, etc. and the heads of schools, colleges and government offices.

In the second level, monitoring will be done through random checking and verification by the local civil administration, while in the third level, monitoring procedures and regular feedback will be sought from the NCOC and the provinces through random checking.

Authorities have so far provided more than 58 million doses of the vaccine, but millions have yet to be immunized.

China and the World Health Organization (WHO) are the main sources of vaccine procurement. Amid the latest arrival, 1 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Pakistan a day earlier, while a White House spokesman said the United States would begin sending more than 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Pakistan.

More than 9.2 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer, led by the Global Vaccine Sharing Initiative, Vaccine Alliance, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedeness (CEPI), sent 4,149,990 doses.

The country is in the grip of a fourth wave of corona virus. As of Thursday, the NCOC said in its daily bulletin that the national number of active corona virus cases reached 92,941 as 4,103 more people tested positive for the infectious disease in the past 24 hours.

The national positivity ratio was recorded at 6.65%.

It said 85 patients had died in hospitals in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths across the country to 25,978.

The national case load of this disease has increased to 1,167,791, most of the cases were reported from Punjab.

So far 1,048,872 have fully recovered.

Asad Omar, head of the NCOC, warned the public to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to control the spread of corona virus to avoid hospitalization and critical care.

He said hospitalizations and critical care were at the highest level since the beginning of  the corona virus pandemic.

He tweeted, “As seen globally, the effects of the Indian Delta variant in Pakistan have also shown that it is spreading rapidly and also increases the chances of patients being hospitalized.”

He urged the people to follow SOPs and vaccinate themselves.

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