Islamabad – Staff Reporter:
The policymakers in Pakistan seem to have completely ignored the need to vaccinate the foreign nationals residing in the country against coronavirus disease, causing great indignation among these foreigners over what they describe as a discriminatory behaviour.
Number of foreigners complained that the Ministry of Health has adopted a discriminatory attitude by not providing them with any facility to get Covid-19 vaccine jab.
They said there is neither any arrangement to provide the foreigners with a coronavirus vaccine nor any strategy in place to get them vaccinated against the viral disease.
They said the government should devise a procedure or helpline to vaccinate the people who do not have Pakistan’s computerized national identity card (CNIC).
They said Pakistan has received Covid-19 vaccines as donation in which foreign nationals over 60 years of age should also have a share. The foreigners said other countries of the world are providing the vaccines to foreigners in order to protect them from the contagion.
Pakistan will receive its first purchase of over 1 million doses of Chinese Sinopharm and CanSino Covid-19 vaccines by the end of March, Planning Minister Asad Umar said.
This will be the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines the federal government has purchased from any manufacturer for 220 million people. The government has previously relied on donations and on allocations from the World Health Organisation-backed COVAX scheme for poorer nations.
“We have purchased one million and 60,000 doses of Sinopharm and CanSino vaccines,” Umar who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said.
“We will be receiving the consignment before the end of March.” He said the government was in talks with the same companies to purchase a further seven million doses of the vaccines.
“We want them to deliver that seven million by the end of April, but they have not confirmed this yet. They might have some supply issues,” Umar added.