Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho on Saturday urged the federal government to allow the province to procure the coronavirus vaccine itself, cautioning that a delay in procurement would make the country a “pariah” one.
Commenting on prime minister’s aide on health Dr Faisal Sultan’s statement that the federal government wanted to obtain the vaccine with the highest efficacy, Pechuho said, “You [Pakistan] have been left behind in the race [to procure a dose].”
“Look at other countries, are UK, US, Europe all rushing? Even African countries have started procurement. India has started vaccination, Turkey has started. [If] we continue to sit back, our people will get sick and die,” she added.
Dr Azra further said, ”We want an early recovery of patients from the disease,” adding that delay in the vaccination would have negative impact.
Talking on vaccines, the minister said that Sinopharm being used at China and several other countries including Behrain and UAE. “We could not use Pfizer’s vaccine as it will be impossible to keep the cold chain”.
Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, who also brief the media alongside Dr Pechuho, said that the federal government should allow the Sindh government to procure a vaccine if the Centre is unable to place orders.
According to National Command and Control Center (NCOC), around 2,432 cases of coronavirus were reported while 45 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 10,908.
The total number of confirmed cases reached to 518,051.
As many as 472,766 patients have recovered from the disease with 2,334 critical cases.