Pakistan has announced that it hit the milestone of administering one million Covid vaccinations in a day, shortly after a deadline for compulsory vaccination was set for certain categories of people.
Asad Umar, the minister in charge of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), a military-run organization that manages Pakistan’s Covid-19 decisions, tweeted about the milestone on Tuesday.
“Happy to report that the target we had set for 1 million vaccinations in a day was crossed yesterday”, Umar announced, praising the efforts of those on the frontline of the vaccination campaign for an “amazing performance by all involved”.
Workers in certain sectors, such as public transport and retail staff, as well as students aged 18 and over, will have to be vaccinated by August 31.
The record number of coronavirus shots administered on Tuesday follows the announcement of the target of a million vaccines a day. All unvaccinated citizens have been banned from entering shopping malls, restaurants, schools, and government offices from August 1 onwards. The NCOC also barred unvaccinated people from domestic air travel.
Pakistan has taken a tough approach to boost inoculation rates, with provinces proposing to place sanctions upon those refusing to get vaccinated. In Punjab province, there were threats of cutting off the unvaccinated from their mobile phone connections. Meanwhile, in Karachi, officials threatened to take away driving licenses.
Despite the recent uptick in vaccinations, Pakistan’s inoculation campaign is still significantly lagging. According to government figures, over 6.7 million second doses have been administered, with the number of first shots standing at 25 million.
Sharing a border with India, where the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant was first discovered, Pakistan has observed a recent spike in coronavirus cases. On July 31, Pakistan recorded 5,026 new infections in just one day – the highest figure since April.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Pakistan has recorded over 1.04 million coronavirus cases, with 23,529 people having lost their lives to the virus.
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