Pakistan starts registering frontline workers for coronavirus vaccination

Medical staff members wearing protective gear work on a desk at a drive-through screening and testing facility point during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the port city of Karachi on April 4, 2020. (AFP/ File)
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Updated 11 January 2021

Pakistan starts registering frontline workers for coronavirus vaccination

  • Registration process of public and private sector health workers starts in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir
  • Last month, Pakistan said it will purchase 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China’s Sinopharm, the first official confirmation of a vaccine purchase by the South Asian country

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the Pakistan federal government’s central body dealing with the pandemic, has started registering frontline health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Center said on its website on Sunday.
Pakistan is currently battling its second wave of the virus and recorded 1,877 new infections on Monday, with 32 deaths, a drop from previous weeks.
Last month, Pakistan said it will purchase 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China’s Sinopharm, the first official confirmation of a vaccine purchase by the South Asian country.
“Registration process of frontline health care workers (HWCs) of both public and private health facilities has been started in provincial health systems (Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces) and Resource Management System (Islamabad, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir),” the NCOC announced on its website.
The NCOC defined frontline workers as all staff at public and private COVID-19 hospitals and isolation centers, which includes clerical, administrative and sanitary workers and guards in addition to doctors, nurses and paramedics. Public health staff involved with testing, tracking and quarantining would also be registered, as well as staff that visited patients at home to collect samples.
Others who would be registered include: health care workers deputed to inject the COVID-19 vaccine and essential staff at Adult Vaccine Counters (AVCs) involved in handling of individuals being vaccinated; all laboratory staff for both public and private sector facilities who were collecting and processing specimens of COVID-19; staff carrying out screening and triage of suspected COVID patients in non-COVID-19 hospitals, emergency departments and points of entries; staff of private or public sector ambulance services dealing with COVID-19 suspected patients; and general practitioners registered with their respective health care commissions.
Giving details on the registration process, the NCOC said frontline workers in Punjab, Sindh and KP in both public and private hospitals would be registered at the provincial health system by the relevant health facility. Healthcare workers should contact their respective health facility administration to confirm that all required details had been communicated to the concerned district and provincial health departments for registration.
“HCWs in Islamabad, Balochistan GB and AJK will be directly registered in Resource Management System (RMS) by the concerned health facility/ district health department,” NCOC said. “HCWs to contact health facility administration to confirm all required details have been entered in the system by health facility focal person for RMS or by district health department. All HCWs in other relevant health facilities to contact local health authorities for information related to registration.”


PM Khan calls for affordable supply of COVID vaccines, debt relief for developing countries

Updated 25 January 2021

PM Khan calls for affordable supply of COVID vaccines, debt relief for developing countries

  • Pakistani prime minister delivers statement at fourth session of UN Conference on Trade and Development
  • Offers five-point agenda to address structural barriers hampering global development during pandemic

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday proposed a five-point agenda to address structural barriers hampering global development during the coronavirus pandemic, urging the "equitable and affordable" supply of vaccines to developing countries and calling for additional debt relief. 

Khan presented a statement at the fourth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development. 

He said the pandemic offered an opportunity to address “structural barriers hampering global prosperity and development,” proposing a five-point agenda.

“One, a viable framework for equitable and affordable supply of COVID vaccine to developing countries. The coverage of the COVAX facility must be expanded. This would enable the developing countries to spend their precious resources on socio-economic development needs,” the PM said. 

He said developing nations should get additional debt relief, including suspension of debt repayments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic, restructuring of their public-sector debt under an agreed and inclusive multilateral framework; and expanding concessional financing through multilateral development banks.

“Three, a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of 500 billion dollars to help alleviate balance-of-payment pressures,” Khan added. “Four, return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals ... Reportedly, a staggering amount of 7 trillion dollars is parked in 'haven' destinations. And it is also reported that one trillion dollars annually leaves the developing countries for these “haven” destinations.”

Finally, the PM said, mobilizing $100 billion annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries was a target that needed to be met. 

“Economic malaise and recession, like the coronavirus, is highly communicable,” Khan said. “Global policy measures, along the lines I have outlined, are urgently needed to save lives, revive economies, and build back better.”

Pakistan has reported 534,041 COVID-19 cases so far, and 11,318 deaths, far lower than what officials had feared.

“In Pakistan, our efforts have been aimed at ensuring that we save people from dying from the virus, and at the same time preventing them from dying from hunger,” Khan said. “Our strategy fortunately has worked well so far. But continuous efforts are needed to fully overcome the second wave of the virus. And also at the same time to maintain and stimulate economic growth.”