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Pakistan announces massive vaccination programme to counter Omicron threat

Umar says “we cannot stop Omicron but can reduce its effects by adopting preventive measures.”
Says country has only few weeks to contain the Omicron threat.
Says govt launching massive vaccination campaign, tightening travel curbs and increasing testing capacity in high-risk areas.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that vaccination is the most effective way of protection against the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, media reported Monday.

Umar, who is also the chief of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), while addressing a joint press conference flanked by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan in Islamabad, warned that the Omicron variant will inevitably come to Pakistan.

The minister announced that the NCOC has made some decisions regarding the highly contagious new variant which is spreading fast across the globe.

He said that the country has only a few weeks to contain the Omicron threat.

“Measures to control the [spread of] new variant in Pakistan are underway but vaccination is the only effective way of protection against Omicron,” said Umar.

Informing the media about the NCOC decisions, Umar said that the government would launch a massive vaccination campaign across the country within two to three days.

“We cannot stop Omicron but can reduce its effects by adopting preventive measures,” he added.

Talking about the government’s preventive measures, the minister said that they were tightening restrictions for the passengers coming from abroad and increasing testing capacity in high-risk areas.

He urged the masses to get themselves fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

People wearing masks on an escalator at a shopping mall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021. Advisers to the World Health Organization are holding a special session Friday to flesh out information about a worrying new variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in South Africa, though its impact on COVID-19 vaccines may not be known for weeks. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

The minister further stated that the individual at high-risk of contracting the virus will be given a booster jab.

Sindh makes booster dose compulsory for fully vaccinated people

The Government of Sindh had decided to make a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine compulsory after the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant, Daily Jang reported Sunday.

The Sindh Health Department had announced that a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine will be administered to fully vaccinated individuals.

Sindh Health Secretary Zulfiqar Ali Shah had told media that the decision to administer fully vaccinated individuals a booster jab has been made in order to prevent the spread of the virus in the province.

He had said that consignments of the vaccine are being imported for the purpose.

“The booster jabs are currently being administered at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and Dow University of Health Sciences Ojha Campus but the scale of vaccination will be expanded across the province,” Shah had said.

He had further stated that no fee will be charged for the administration of the booster jab.

Shah had requested the fully vaccinated individuals to get the booster jab and advised those who are yet to get the basic vaccination to get themselves immunised against the virus.

Ahmed Mukhtar Naqshbandi

Media person and communication expert for over 25 years. Worked with Dow Jones News, World Bank, CNBC Pakistan, Aaj TV, ARY TV, Abbtakk TV, Business Recorder, Pakistan Observer, Online News Network, TTI Magazine and other local and world Publications.

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