A doctor gestures while receiving a dose of the Sinopharm vaccine at a health centre in Karachi. File
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan is expected to receive another 5.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of March, according to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday.
The federal government has dispatched 504,500 doses of vaccine to the provinces.
As so far only 72,882 frontline healthcare workers have got themselves vaccinated in Pakistan, the government has decided to start registering general health professionals, too, from Monday (Feb.22) for the vaccination programme.
The NCOC has announced that general healthcare workers could register themselves on www.covid.gov.pk/vaccine.
According to the NCOC data, Pakistan will receive 5.6m doses by the end of March, with 2.8m doses of Gavi/Covax expected in the first week of next month and another 2.8m doses by the second week. In all, 17.1m doses will reach Pakistan by the end of June.
Also, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan announced the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination.
In a tweet, he said: "Pak COVID-19 vaccination, next phase - now that we have expected the arrival of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in early March, all those 60 years of age and older are now requested to begin registration. Send CNIC as SMS to 1166. You will receive a reply with instructions on next steps.”
The NCOC in a statement also announced the start of registration of citizens of over 60 years for the vaccine programme, with an appeal to senior citizens to text their national identity card numbers on 1166.
Covax is an international alliance that has pledged to provide free vaccines to Pakistan’s 20 per cent population.
Following an EU summit, French President Emmanuel Macron said there was a "new type of world war," adding: "We are looking in particular at Russian and Chinese attacks and attempts to gain influence through the vaccine."
The fresh suspensions were a major blow to a global immunisation campaign that experts hope will help end a year-long pandemic that has already killed over 2.6 million people and decimated the global economy.
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.
Simultaneous inauguration ceremonies, held in major cities of all provinces as well as in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, were attended by the respective chief executives and other high-ranking officials.
The Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai, derailed and fell on the opposite track, with many people still trapped, the reports said.
Sheikh Mohammed added in a tweet on Twitter: "We found its executive director at the service counters, receiving customers, speeding up procedures, and contributing to clearing transactions. The secret shopper assured us that providing the service did not exceed five minutes."
The first lady arrived in Cairo from Amman, where she attended the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein. She is travelling to Morocco on Saturday before heading to Portugal, the final stop of her tour, on Monday.