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COVID-19 vaccination centres to be closed on public holidays: NCOC

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has announced that the COVID-19 vaccination centres will be closed on national holidays and Sundays across the country.

National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) in a statement issued on Saturday said, “All vaccination centers across the country will remain closed on Sundays and National holidays like March 23.”

NCOC advised people not to visit the vaccination centers on Sundays and other public holidays. “This decision is taken to give relief to the vaccine administrators and health care workers who are working tirelessly to serve the nation in this time of crisis,” said the NCOC. 

Currently, Pakistan is vaccinating the country’s healthcare workers and people over the age of 60 after launching the vaccination drive on February 2. Pakistan is using the Sinopharm vaccine developed by state-run China National Pharmaceutical Group, which has shown to be 79% effective.

Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan has cautioned that the situation can go worse if masses continue to violate standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“The COVID positivity ratio has doubled from 4.5 percent to 9.50 percent in the last few days,” the special assistant said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad today (Saturday).

Dr Faisal further said that the hospitals, currently, across the country were dealing with the influx of COVID-19 patients. “This is an alarming situation which is increasing burden on our healthcare system,” he added.

“The pressure is especially being seen on the health infrastructure in major cities like Punjab, Islamabad and Peshawar,” he said, adding, “It is our collective responsibility to fully comply with precautionary measures to cope with the challenge.”

The special assistant urged the people of Pakistan to wear masks and ensure social distancing. “Wedding events should also be organized in the open air with the minimum possible guests,” he pointed out.    

Talking about the vaccination process across the country, the Special Assistant said the process was continuing and people aged over 70 years can get vaccination shots without an appointment. “Two consignments of the vaccine will also arrive in the country by the end of this month,” he added.