As the world inches closer to the COVID-19 cure, the federal cabinet has approved a grant of $150 million to procure coronavirus vaccine amid a surge in infections across Pakistan.
This was announced by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Health Dr Faisal Sultan along with Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz while giving details about decisions taken by the cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Meanwhile, the government has also decided to administer the vaccine to people in phases. In the first phase, the health workers and the elderly, who are more vulnerable to the infection, will be innoculated, followed by other ages group.
According to the minister, the government has already approached a few companies to procure the potential vaccine and an initial conversation has been started with them.
On November 4, it was learnt that the health ministry had recommended purchases of potential coronavirus vaccines under last-stage trials and allocation of $100 million in funds for its advance booking. The request was subsequently approved by the prime minister and was sent to the cabinet for final approval.
Commenting on the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) recent public rally in Multan, Faraz urged the opposition not to play with the lives of people for “its personal gains”, saying the second wave of coronavirus was at its peak in the country. He said public rallies are banned to protect people from the coronavirus and the government will deal with the violators legally.
The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise in Pakistan. Over 5,000 localities across the country have been put under ‘smart lockdown’ by the government to contain the soaring tally. On the other hand, the violation of anti-virus precautionary measures are continued, as people disregard the use of mask and social distancing in public and private places.