The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday announced 31 August as the deadline for various public sectors to get their staff vaccinated.
While addressing a presser in Islamabad, Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, said that the government aims to ramp up the vaccination process and inoculate at least one million people daily.
He called on public cooperation in this regard, noting that the immunization of maximum people was the only way to slow down the spread of the virus.
Asad Umar said that students over 18 years of age, teachers, transporters, government employees, hotel and wedding hall staff members, and personnel of law enforcement agencies must get themselves vaccinated before the end of the next month.
“We have identified that banks, markets, public offices, and schools are the sectors dealing with the public and in order to curb the virus spread, vaccination has been made mandatory for those working in these sectors,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, teachers who had been given a heads up last month, will not be allowed to teach if they fail to get vaccinated by the first of August, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan, said that critical care cases, which were below 2,000 during the third wave in June, have now surged past 3,000.
He maintained that the pressure on hospitals across the country has increased considerably during the last few days as the infection rate has spiked.
Earlier, Asad Umar warned the situation is getting worse and if the designated safety protocols are not followed, it would get out of control.
Quoting the NCOC data for the 26-28 July period, the minister pointed out that compliance with COVID-19 SOPs has gradually declined, especially in Sindh and Punjab.
“Islamabad has the highest enforcement of health guidelines of around 56.4%. Next is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 46%, Punjab is 38%, while the lowest [enforcement] is in Sindh and Balochistan at 33%,” he said.
Umar expressed concerns over the situation in Karachi where the prevalence rate exceeded 30% on Thursday. He commended the Sindh government for their measures to curb the spread and extended full support of the federal government.
“Sindh is taking proactive measures, which is the right thing to do right now,” he said.