NCOC urges elderly to pre-register on helpline 1166 and then walk into any designated coronavirus vaccination center to secure their immunization
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Monday urged citizens over 70 to pre-register on helpline 1166 and then walk into any designated coronavirus vaccination center from today (Tuesday) to receive their immunization shots.
In a statement issued to media after a meeting of the body tasked with managing Pakistan’s coronavirus response, the administrations of all provincial governments were urged to ensure the vaccination of senior citizens, as the majority of deaths from COVID-19 are being reported in their age group. It said walk-ins would encourage greater uptake of vaccinations, adding that this facility would be available nationwide, including in Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
The statement stressed that while walk-ins of people over 70 were welcome, they should still pre-register by submitting their CNIC number to 1166 to expedite the vaccination process.
A day earlier, the government had halted walk-ins for people over 60, noting that this was causing large crowds at vaccination centers and posing a health risk.
During its meeting, the NCOC noted with concern that the national positivity ratio was once more on the rise, driven in large part by a surge of confirmed infections in Punjab province, adding that it had been accompanied by a boost in hospital admissions. It urged all provincial administrations to act strictly against anyone found violating standard operating procedures (SOPs), including those who did not wear masks in public places.
“Provinces were appreciated for taking prudent actions for disease control through high impact interventions. Provincial administrations are advised to take strict administrative actions on violators of SOPs. Massive crackdown be ensured against all those who fail to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and SOPs,” the statement said, with officials hinting that heavy fines could be levied on violators to encourage compliance.
The NCOC also noted that Punjab was currently contributing to about 55 percent of national deaths caused due to COVID-19. It urged any domestic tourists traveling to Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and similar areas to ensure compliance with all SOPs. It similarly warned provinces that if health guidelines were not enforced in public transport and hotels, the government could be forced to order the closure of tourist activities.