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May 11, 2021

CM orders boosting Expo Centre daily vaccination capacity to 50,000

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the provincial health department to acquire another hall at the mega vaccination facility at the Expo Centre Karachi and enhance the vaccination centre’s capacity from 25,000 vaccinations to 50,000 vaccinations per day.

The CM issued the direction to this effect while presiding over a meeting of the provincial task force on coronavirus at the CM House on Monday. Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho informed the meeting said that as per the decision of the chief minister, a mass vaccination centre with a capacity of 25,000 vaccinations per day had been established at one of the halls of the Expo Centre. To this, the CM said that only restricting people at their homes was not enough as the government had to make them secure by launching mass vaccination drives.

He directed the health department to acquire another hall at the Expo Centre and enhance the vaccination capacity to 50,000 vaccinations per day. “I want you [the Sindh health department] to develop a vaccination capacity of 100,000 per day – this will help prevent our population from COVID-19 through a mass vaccination system,” Murad said.

He also directed the chief secretary to set up a mass vaccination centre in Hyderabad and remarked that similar arrangements might be set up in Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana. Sindh Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi told the meeting that the provincial government had received 862,000 doses of Sinopharm, 11,000 doses of Cansino, 80,000 doses of Sinovac and 10,7500 doses of AstraZeneca. He added that 633,402 doses of Sinopharm, 11,000 of Cansino, 61,200 of Sinovac and 1,480 of AstraZeneca had been utilised.

The meeting was told that the daily production of oxygen was 798 metric tonnes (MT) per day against which the demand was 724.60 MT, including 534.80 MT for health care, 113.80 MT for industries and 69.85 MT for distributors.

The CM directed the health department to prepare an urgent plan to install oxygen plants at all the five tertiary care hospitals. It was pointed out that the third wave of coronavirus started on April 9 when 314 cases were detected, and it reached its peak on May 5 when 1,110 cases were diagnosed and now it seemed to be dropping down with 911 cases on May 7 and 976 cases on May 9.

“The Eid holidays are critical- if people fail to follow the SOPs [standard operating procedures], the pandemic situation would aggravate further,” Murad said, and urged the people to celebrate Eidul Fitr with simplicity and avoid going to relatives.

Analysing the death trends during the last 30 days, the health secretary said there were two deaths in Sindh due to Covid-19 on April 9 but the daily death count increased up to 24 on May 5 and then started showing a downward trend and on May 9, 16 deaths were reported. The CM was told that of the 536 ICU beds in Sindh, only 52 were occupied. Similarly, of the 1,453 HDU beds, 278 were occupied and of the 442 low-flow beds, only 38 were filled.

The CM directed the health department to keep the vaccination centres operational. The meeting was also attended by Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, Education Minister Saeed Ghani, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Parliamentary Secretary Qasim Siraj Soomro, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Sindh Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Maher, ACS Home Usman Chachar, Principal Secretary to the CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Karachi Commissioner Naveed Shaikh, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Education Secretary Ahmed Bux Narejo, Dow University Vice Chancellor Dr Saeed Qureshi, Dr Bari, Dr Faisal, Dr Qaiser Sajjad and representative of Corps 5 and Rangers.

Press conference

Nasir, Wahab and Soomro addressed a joint press conference to brief the media about the decisions taken in the task force meeting.

Responding to a question regarding a National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) letter under which the place of domicile of all the government employees from Grade BS-1 to BS-22 had been sought, the information minister said the letter was issued without the knowledge of the NAB chairman.

“NAB is not a services tribunal to check domiciles of the employees,” he said and added that the provincial government would give its stance on the matter after the Eid. Wahab said NAB was only an anti-corruption body and it had nothing to do with the appointments, removal from services and such other matters. “They have crossed their limits by writing this letter and we condemn it,” he said. Nasir also told the press conference that the CM had allocated Rs1.5 billion for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.