Monday May 29, 2023

PTI demands Sindh govt pay nine months’ salaries to vaccinators

By Our Correspondent
January 29, 2022

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders on Friday demanded of the Sindh government to pay outstanding salaries of nine months to vaccinators as the vaccination process in Karachi was being affected due to their protest.

A delegation of the PTI leaders, including Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh, MPA Arslan Taj Ghumman and wing commander (retd) Q. Hakim, visited the country's largest Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Expo Centre where the vaccination process had been on hold for the past several days because the vaccinators and IT experts had been protesting due to the nonpayment of their salaries for the past nine months.

Sheikh, while speaking to media persons at the occasion, deplored that those young vaccinators and other allied staff who were frontline fighters in the war against the pandemic were not only deprived of their salaries but they were also being paid salaries lower than the minimum threshold set by the Sindh government.

“The Sindh government in the budget 2021-22 set the minimum wage at Rs25,000 per month, but the salary of staffers of vaccination centres is Rs18,000 per month and even that meager amount is not being paid to them,” he said.

He said that the federal government allowed the use of the Expo Centre as a mass vaccination centre and also provided jab doses worth over Rs45 billion to the provincial government that itself had not procured a single dose so far. “But inefficient Sindh government could not pay salaries to hired staff while thousands of jabs doses were left to expire and thousands of others were sold illegally to private vendors.”

Besides, an incident of inoculation of administrating an expired vaccine to police personnel in Khairpur was also reported in media, he said.

Corruption in testing

Citing an investigative piece published in The News about the mass-scale corruption that surfaced in the Covid-19 diagnosis and reporting process, Sheikh said that Rs35 million were issued to Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) Jamshoro on a counterfeit letter.

He said that an inquiry was also notified in the regard but not a single meeting of the inquiry committee had yet been held, and the PPP government wanted to suppress the issue.

“Diagnosis tests being conducted in laboratories of Karachi were also being included in the performance of LUMHS,” he said. “How can the LUMHS laboratory alone conduct seven to nine thousand tests in a day and the total number of tests conducted by all the 25 labs of Karachi was lower than those of the LUMHS lab?” he asked.

Indus Hospital had the capacity of 4,000 tests, Karachi University had the capacity of 3,000 while Dow University, Civil and Jinnah hospitals had the capacity of conducting thousands of tests, but each of them were conducting a few hundred tests each on a daily basis, he said.

The opposition leader said that the data contained in the Coronavirus Situation Report of the Sindh province did not match the data being submitted to the National Command and Operation Centre.