A man receives a booster shot of coronavirus vaccine at a health centre in Karachi. File
The government of Pakistan on Saturday abolished the COVID-19 booster shot fee for those intending to travel abroad, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS).
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Health, people who are travelling abroad can get a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine free of cost by showing their documents at vaccination centres.
The government was already providing COVID-19 booster doses to the general public free of cost. The notification states that the ministry's notification dated Aug.27, 2021 has been withdrawn.
In its Aug.27 notification, the ministry of health had fixed the price of a single booster shot against Covid-19 for persons travelling abroad at Rs1,270.
Vaccinated people will be allowed to offer prayers
Also on Saturday, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has conducted a meeting to review coronavirus situation across the country and decided to implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in mosques and other worship places.
According to details, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to offer prayers in the mosques while wearing face masks has also been made mandatory.
The management has also been directed to remove carpets from the floor and ensure six-foot distance among the individuals to avoid the spread of the virus. The people should perform ablution at home and then visit the mosques.
Arrangements should be made to carry out prayers in open places while windows and doors of the worship places should also be left open. Moreover, NCOC has also directed to keep Friday sermon brief.
Sindh makes booster dose compulsory
On Nov.28, the government of Sindh decided to make a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine compulsory after the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant.
The Sindh Health Department announced that a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine will be administered to fully vaccinated individuals.
Sindh Health Secretary Zulfiqar Ali Shah had told Daily Jang that the decision to administer fully vaccinated individuals a booster jab had been made in order to prevent the spread of the virus in the province.
"The booster jabs are currently being administered at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and Dow University of Health Sciences Ojha Campus but the scale of vaccination will be expanded across the province," Shah said.
China has pledged to donate 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine made by the Chinese firm SinoPharm. Two government sources said the first batch would be flown in on Saturday. Pakistan reported 1,563 new coronavirus infections and 74 deaths in the latest 24-hour period.
"We have found that a sizable population of housewives are unvaccinated, and they socialise and attend weddings without face masks,” Qasim Siraj Soomro, parliamentary secretary health of the Sindh provincial government, said.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) of Islamabad has begun the production of a single-dose Chinese coronavirus vaccine believing the initiative will help meet Pakistan's vaccine needs.
"As vaccine supply continues to improve and vaccination capacity gets enhanced in all federating units, we continue to expand the categories of those who are eligible to get vaccinated," Umar said on Twitter.
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