Saturday September 18, 2021

WB reallocates to Pakistan Rs24.27 bn to buy vaccines

Agencies
August 04, 2021
WB reallocates to Pakistan Rs24.27 bn to buy vaccines

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has reallocated $150 million (Rs24.27) for Pakistan to procure COVID-19 vaccines, South Asia Regional Vice President (SARVP) World Bank Hartwig Schafer said on Tuesday.

Talking to Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin here, Schafer said, "The WB is fully committed to providing assistance to the developing countries for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and for the purpose, $150 million has been re-allocated for Pakistan by the Bank.”

Pakistan's Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood were also present in the meeting.

The finance minister acknowledged the significant contribution of the World Bank in the socio-economic development of the country since the 1950s. He welcomed the World Bank Group’s proposed $12 billion initiative to help developing countries procure COVID-19 vaccines to treat up to one billion people.

Tarin appreciated the pivotal role currently being played by the World Bank in strengthening governance and service delivery in Pakistan through institutional reforms being undertaken with the support of development partners.

Schafer thanked the finance minister for a warm welcome and said the World Bank greatly valued its partnership with Pakistan and supported the reform agenda undertaken by the present government.

He also acknowledged the efforts made by Pakistan for effective management of the COVID-19 crisis. He also praised Pakistan’s commitment to a cleaner and greener environment and said the reform momentum had to be sustained in the country.

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Tuesday said Islamabad had become the first city in Pakistan with a population of one million or more to get 50 percent of its eligible population vaccinated with at least one dose.

In a tweet, he said the ratio in Peshawar and Rawalpindi was 35%, Faisalabad 28%, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Sargodha 27%, Karachi 26%, and Hyderabad 25%. In another tweet, Asad said the target set for one million vaccinations in a day was crossed yesterday (Monday) with 1.072 million vaccinations across the country.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has clamped a lockdown in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad to rein in rising cases of coronavirus.

A notification in this regard has been issued. The notification said the lockdown imposed from Tuesday August 3 will continue till August 31.

Following the review of the deteriorating situation of COVID 19 across the country, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has taken the decision to re-clamp restrictions in the country.

According to the Punjab government’s notification, market business activities will be allowed to operate till 8:00 pm.

Pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centers, fuel stations, tandoors, bakeries, dairy shops, have been allowed to trade 24 hours a day, while takeaways, e-commerce courier postal services and utility services, auto workshops, oil depots and all kinds of mandis are exempt from the restrictions.

All business and commercial activities will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Meanwhile, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Tuesday announced that around 1,072,342 COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across the country meeting the highest per day vaccination target.

The Center tweeted that a total of 31,929,581 vaccines had been administered so far across the country. Meanwhile, the national tally of total active COVID-19 cases was Tuesday recorded as 75,373 with 3,582 more people testing positive and 1,355 people recovering from the disease during the 24 hours.

Sixty-seven (67) corona patients have died during the 24 hours out of which 64 were under treatment in hospitals and three died in their respective quarantines or homes, according to the NCOC.

Most deaths occurred in Sindh followed by the Punjab. There were 3,398 infected patients under treatment in critical condition in various COVID dedicated healthcare facilities of the country. The national positivity ratio during the 24 hours was recorded 7.19 percent.

The maximum ventilators were occupied in four major cities including Islamabad 38%, Lahore 21%, Peshawar 28% and Karachi 17%. Around 325 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in the country, while no affected person was on the ventilator in Balochistan.

Some 49,798 tests were conducted across the country on Monday, including 13,107 in Sindh, 19,752 in Punjab, 9,116 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 3,492 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 2,825 in Balochistan, 936 in GB, and 570 in AJK.

Around 944,375 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery rate.

Since the pandemic broke out, a total of 1,043,277 cases have been detected that also included the perished, recovered and under treatment COVID-19 patients so far, including AJK 25,034, Balochistan 30,627, GB 8,318, ICT 88,344, KP 145,306, Punjab 358,387 and Sindh 387,261.

About 23,529 deaths have been recorded in the country since the eruption of the contagion. Around 6,057 people perished in Sindh, 11,083 in Punjab, 4,477 in KP, 804 in ICT, 328 in Balochistan, 147 in GB and 633 in AJK.