COVID Watch | 18th January 2021

Lockdowns in five Peshawar localities imposed on Saturday; Pakistan to register more vaccines in the coming weeks, registers Oxford-AstraZeneca with DRAP for emergency use; NCOC head and Federal Minister for Development Asad Umar confirms provinces and private sector can procure DRAP-approved vaccines freely.


Smart lockdown imposed in five Peshawar localities

Smart lockdowns were imposed in the following five Peshawar localities on Saturday, January 16, by Peshawar Deputy Commissioner (DC):

  • Streets 4 – 6 of Hayatabad Phase IV
  • Streets 1 and 2 of Hayatabad Phase III
  • Khushal Town
  • Yakatoot Bazaar
  • Warsak Road

According to the notification issued by the DC, all entry and exit points are closed except for essential deliveries. Gatherings have been banned, while non-essential businesses and offices will remain closed until restrictions are once again raised.

Pakistan to register more vaccines

The Ministry of National Health Service announces more vaccines will be registered in country in the coming weeks, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has already been registered with DRAP for emergency use.

Pakistan will receive 45 million AstraZeneca vials through COVAX, a program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vacc­ines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the Coalition for Epi­demic Preparedness Innova­­tions (CEPI) which aims to inoculate 20 percent of the populations of poor countries free of cost.

However, not only has COVAX has yet to procure its target doses, AstraZeneca is not expected to be globally available for the next couple of months.

Provinces, private sector can import vaccines, says NCOC head

National Command and Operations Center head and Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, has stated that the provinces and private sector hospitals and pharmacies are free to procure vaccines on their own approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). His statement came in response to Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho’s remarks that Sindh was awaiting the center’s approval to acquire vaccines. Umar further stated that the government will decide on Tuesday the name under which vaccines procured by the center will be distributed.