KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho has raised concerns that the country might face a fourth wave of coronavirus due to emerging COVID-19 variants.
“There is a fear of fourth wave,” said a statement issued after the meeting. The health minister directed all district administrations to expedite the Covid-19 vaccination drive.
Dr Pechuho expressed concern that the health situation might get critical again as new coronavirus variants had been reported in the country including the Delta variant, which first emerged in India.
She said that stakeholders should be taken on board to expedite the vaccination drive particularly the industrial sector. She informed that the government might consider for another lockdown if coronavirus cases increase. Therefore, she said everyone should get vaccinated to avoid this situation.
She also directed the officials to open COVID-19 vaccination centres at NADRA offices and seek support of final year students of medical and paramedical to expedite efforts. She warned that the government would take action against officials who would fail to meet vaccination targets.
The meeting also focused on the government’s efforts to tackle polio and coronavirus. The minister also directed officials to ensure that the target set for the polio campaign currently in progress across the province was achieved.
The officials were told to remain alert over cases where children were not present at home when the staff approached the families and ensure that they are vaccinated later.
The meeting was attended Health Secretary Kazim Jatio, parliamentary health secretary Qasim Soomro, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Sindh coordinator Fayyaz Abbasi while commissioners and deputy commissioners participated via video link.
According to media reports, the Delta variant or B.1.617.2 was first detected in India and has spread to more than 60 countries. In the United Kingdom, it accounts for about 60 percent of coronavirus cases and six percent of all infections in the United States although some states have reported higher number of cases. Pakistan has reported two cases of this variant so far.