Punjab govt to procure 1 mln COVID-jabs worth Rs 1.5 billion

RAWALPINDI: Special Assistant to the Chief Minister (SACM) Punjab on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Monday said the provincial government would purchase COVID-19 vaccines autonomously as the federal government has allowed provinces to procure C-shots.

Talking to media during her visit to Corona vaccination centre here at Sports complex, Shamsabad, she informed that the Punjab government has allocated an amount of Rs 1.5 billion from its own budget for the purchase of one million C-vaccine which would be administered to the residents of the province during the holy month of Ramzan.

Dr Firdous informed that presently, 127 vaccination centres were operating across the province, from where 4.75 lacs people including health workers and senior citizens have got themselves vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Giving further information, the SACM said the third wave of coronavirus was taking a risky turn as 2, 275 new cases have been reported besides 15 deaths during the last 24 hours in the province while a total of 233, 343 have, so far, been tested positive in the province.

She added that 1362 confirmed cases were reported in Lahore, 141 in Faisalabad, 92 in Rawalpindi and 60 in Sialkot during the last 24 hours.

She urged the people to continue following standard operating procedures (SOPs), as it was the most reliable way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Dr Firdous said Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was transforming the province towards genuine development and was going to announce a Ramzan subsidy package of Rs 7 billion while 313 sahulat bazaars would be set up across the province to provide relief to the people during the upcoming holy month.

“A Sahulat Bazaar Authority was being made established which would monitor the prices of daily use items including sugar and wheat at the bazaars, ” she added.

She said to control inflation during Ramzan, public representatives would also carry out the monitoring of prices at Bazaars, adding, the strict action would be taken against profiteers causing an artificial price hike.

Commenting on the by-election in Daska, she said the government will consult the Election Commission of Pakistan for holding of election in the context of the prevailing COVID—19 situation as violations of C-virus SOPs can lead to the spreading of COVID-19 in the election.

She said that direction has been passed to the CEO District health authority to provide ambulance service to the elderly and disabled for vaccination.

Answering a question about the future of PDM, she said the politics of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has been ended and the nation has rejected the narrative adopted by the convicted princess.

The SACM also lauded the role of media during the current coronavirus situation, saying that the media had done “objective reporting and made people aware”.

Earlier, she along with Deputy Commissioner Capt (Retd) Anwar Ul Haq and CEO Health Dr Faiza Naeem took a round of the vaccination centre and asked people about the facilitates being provided to them at the centre.