Pak to expedite anti-coronavirus vaccination campaign to avoid lockdown: Minister Asad Umar

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Islamabad, May 31 (PTI) Pakistan will expedite its anti-coronavirus vaccination campaign in the coming weeks to avoid lockdown around Eid-ul-Azha in the last week of July.

Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that the aim was to inoculate as many people as possible by the end of July to escape difficult restrictions at the time of Eidul Azha.

'According to our figures, more than 7 million doses have been administered and some 5.2 to 5.3 million people have been vaccinated,' he said, showing that around 2 million got double doses.

Umar, who is the head of National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) to combat the pandemic, said enough vaccines were available to meet the targets and “in the month of June Pakistan will have more than 10 million vaccines and then in July a further 10 million.” He reiterated that the objective was to inoculate 70 million people across Pakistan by the end of the year.

He said vaccination was picking up and rose from a few hundred jabs to 383,000 doses on Saturday since the drive was launched on February 2.

Umar said that the positivity rate had decreased from 10 to 11 per cent to around 4.5 per cent in the previous week but warned that the threat was not over.

Meanwhile, at least 2,117 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally of confirmed cases to 921,053, while 43 people died in this period that took the COVID-19 deaths to 20,779, according to the Ministry of National Health Services. PTI SH RUP

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