PAF officers pose for a photgraph at Noor Khan Airbase in Islamabad. Twitter photo
Gulf Today Report
A special plane of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) left for Beijing on Sunday to bring home the first tranche of the Sinopharm vaccine for COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
On Jan.28, the federal government gave the green light for three COVID-19 vaccines including Russia’s Sputnik-V, China’s Sinopharm and UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca for emergency use in the country for which a step-by-step guide was also issued.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has made the arrangements for the vaccine’s storage in Islamabad and has also taken measures to air-transport it to the federating units, especially Sindh and Balochistan.
It has also set up a vaccine nerve centre with the provincial and district level vaccine administration and coordination and adult vaccination centres.
China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi during a phone call with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week had promised to provide 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan by Jan.31.
Beijing had asked Islamabad to send an airplane to get the vaccines.
Later, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hua Chunying had also confirmed that in order to support the brothers and sisters in Pakistan, the Chinese government would provide a batch of vaccines as aid and would actively coordinate with the relevant Chinese enterprise to speed up export of vaccines to Pakistan.
The NCOC, which oversees Pakistan’s coronavirus response, had sent the special aircraft to bring the vaccine that Beijing had promised to provide.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Pakistan have been working together to overcome difficulties. It has also set up a vaccine nerve center with the provincial and district level vaccine administration and coordination and adult vaccination centers.
According to the current statistics, coronavirus cases in the country stand at 544,813, while the deaths due to the virus are at 11,657. The recoveries from the infection so far stand at 499,974.
Pakistan has approved two foreign anti-COVID vaccines as of now, including the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, for emergency use in the country.
Primary schools, universities will reopen from Monday: Minister
In a separate development, Minister for Education and Professional Trainings and National Heritage and Culture Shafqat Mahmood has said all primary schools and universities will reopen from Monday.
Students attend a class. File
Talking to the media in southern district of Sukkur during his visit to the tomb of Mir Masoom Shah Minaret, a Mughal era’s monument, he said the country has witnessed “too much loss of education” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shafqat has said education plays a crucial role in the economic development and growth of a country and use of technology is crucial to ensure quality education.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, the minister said Pakistan needs to invest more in education sector in the coming years. He said use of technology is vital to bridge the educational gap and better teaching methodologies will be helpful to ensure quality education.
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"I got myself registered at 1166 and got the jab after being informed regarding the venue and date of the vaccination via the helpline,” he said while lauding the government for devising a transparent process in this regard.
Crossing the four million does mark comes as result of the efforts made at the country level to contain the pandemic, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced on Friday.
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On Saturday, almost a week after her death, people joined hands at a vigil organised by her family to comfort her loved ones and walk with Aleena “in their hearts” along the route she never had the chance to complete.