Vaccine available by March
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan stated in an interview with a news channel that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available in Pakistan by March 2021. He explained that the vaccine will be issued on an Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) in three phases – healthcare workers will be the first to receive the vaccine in the first phase, senior citizens (that is, anyone above the age of 60) in the second, and in the third phase the vaccine will become available to the general populace.
He stated that although the government has finalised a plan for procurement, it is still deliberating on which vaccine to purchase – a special committee has been devised to procure the vaccine depending on availability in the market, and proven medical veracity of the drug.
Pandemic worsened human rights situation
The Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable and marginalized groups on Thursday, December 10, which is the International Day for Human Rights.
He stated that inequality, discrimination and poverty aided in the unchecked spread of the virus. Moreover, the pandemic had been used by many a nation to justify extreme security responses and measures that only served to curtail the freedoms of its peoples.
East Karachi reports greatest death toll
The Sindh Health Department has released data which reveals that the Karachi East district suffered the greatest number of pandemic casualties in the city, with a total of 904 deaths reported since the outbreak of the virus in March. Central district recorded the second highest death toll at 551, with South district following with 382, Korangi district with 303, and West district with 258. Tharparkar and Tando Muhammad Khan reported the least number of casualties with just three deaths each.