Cabinet okays $150mn grant to buy vaccine
December 03 2020 12:18 AM
PROTECTION: A woman wears a protective mask while walking along a road as the outbreak of the corona
PROTECTION: A woman wears a protective mask while walking along a road as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease continues in Karachi yesterday. (Reuters)

Internews/ Islamabad

The federal cabinet yesterday approved the grant of 150 million dollars to procure anti-Covid vaccine.
This was announced by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Health Dr Faisal Sultan along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz while giving details about decisions taken by the federal cabinet, which met in Islamabad yesterday.
The Special Assistant said, for this purpose, few companies have been shortlisted, contacted and initial discussion has been started with them. He said in first phase of providing the vaccine, our priority will be healthcare workers and old age people who are most vulnerable to the virus.
Commenting on the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement’s recent public rally in Multan, Faraz urged the opposition not to play with the lives of people for its personal gains as the second wave of coronavirus was peaking in the country.
He said public rallies are banned to protect people from the coronavirus and we will deal with the violators legally instead of placing hard restrictions.
The minister said the cabinet was apprised on the latest development of the Ravi and Bundal Island projects.
It was informed that investors have expressed their full satisfaction on the steps taken for the development of construction sector by Prime Minister Imran Khan, therefore, they were willing to invest in these mega projects.
He said the forum was informed that these projects were planned to keep the environment clean and attract foreign investment.
Addressing the cabinet, the prime minister said the country needed to work seriously to contain spread of global pandemic.
He felt it was unfortunate that while second wave was affecting the country the opposition was bent on holding rallies and playing with people’s lives.
Meanwhile, in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in Islamabad, the city administration has imposed a ban on indoor dining in restaurants and hotels.
In a tweet, Deputy Commissioner Mohamed Hamza Shafqaat announced the ban, adding the only dining out in an open area is allowed. He also said that restaurants were allowed to offer takeaway.
All assistant commissioners and subdivisional magistrates would remain in the field to ensure the orders issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act in order to prevent further Covid infection, he added.
So far, the capital has reported 30,748 coronavirus cases. It has also imposed a smart lockdown in several areas.
Last week, Karachi had imposed a ban on indoor dining at restaurants and cafes amid the second wave of Covid-19.
Pakistan has recorded 75 deaths due to coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities in last four months, according to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
The NCOC stated that 2,829 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours while the death toll has reached 8,166. At least 2,079 patients have recovered from the virus and 2,244 patients are in critical condition.
The total count of active cases increased up to 49,780.
 The NCOC said that with fresh inclusion of the infections in the country, the national tally of cases now currently stands at 403,311.
A total of 35,197 tests were conducted across the country during this period. 345,365 people have recovered from the deadly disease while 5,584,976 samples have been tested thus far.

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