PM says Covid situation in Pakistan ‘under control’ but cautions against complacency

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that the Covid-19 situation in the country was “under control”, but instructed authorities to remain prepared to tackle any possible spread of the virus.

The premier passed these remarks in a meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office to review the Covid spread in Pakistan. The participants were informed in detail about the situation prevalent across the globe along with emerging variants and their prevention methods.

Reviewing the measures adopted to tackle the looming threat of the virus, PM Shehbaz stressed the need for 100 per cent vaccination for children between the age of five and 12 on an emergency basis, according to an official statement.

The prime minister asked officials to make screening at borders and airports more effective to detect people with possible infections and sought a “third party report” on the mechanism.

During the meeting, officials noted that the country had reported zero Covid deaths in the last 25 days. The development was welcomed by Shehbaz, who thanked vaccine donors for providing Pakistan doses in the need of the hour.

The participants were also told that there was “no apparent threat to Pakistan from the new variants of Covid because 90pc of the population of the country is fully vaccinated while the rest is partially vaccinated”.

The vaccination rate among 3.5 million children aged between five and 12 years stood at 25pc, however, officials said it would increase to 100pc in months to come.

The meeting was further informed that effective arrangements had been made at the border to prevent the transmission of Covid.

Officials said adequate measures including fumigation and screening had been taken at airports to minimise the threat of virus transmission.

The statement said that the premier appreciated the measures taken by the Ministry of National Health Services, NCOC officials, and civil aviation authorities to prevent the spread of the virus.

Today’s meeting comes as China is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases due to a strain that is a sub-variant of the highly infectious Omicron variant: BF.7 or BA.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had on Monday instructed the NIH to issue precautionary advisories for educational institutes, and social gatherings and conduct weekly media briefings in view of the rapid spread of new variants of coronavirus in parts of the globe.

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