Pakistan Allocates $150m to Procure Coronavirus Vaccine

On Tuesday, the federal cabinet successfully allocated $150 million dollars to secure a coronavirus vaccine candidate. The cabinet also reduced the cost incurred for the injections that are required to treat the virus. After the reduction was announced, the price of a 100 mg injection of Remedsivir came down to Rs.5,680 from Rs.9,244. 

A policy was also devised for the vaccination, which stated that frontline soldiers that is health workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of the administration. The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, who also agreed that citizens above the age of 65 years should also be vaccinated along with the health workers. 

The premier stressed on the fact that the coronavirus vaccine should be timely procured and made available to all the citizens of the country at any and all costs. He made sure to remind everyone that the highest number of deaths in one day due to the virus were reported on the 30th of November. 

Khan also referred to the opposition alliance and their non-seriousness in following SOPs in their rallies. He pointed out that all rallies should be postponed at a time like this when the cases of the virus are rising steadily. He went on to say that Pakistan needs serious attitudes and decisions at a time like this. 

The Prime Minister made a reference to a decision taken by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as well. He talked about the ruling that the court had made at the beginning of the pandemic, which stated that the decisions made by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) will be mandatorily implemented. Moreover, he informed that holding rallies during the pandemic was in violation of an official court order. 

Furthermore, the premier talked about how hospitals and officials of the health department are under extreme pressure due to the rise of the virus. He urged the public to stand united and work in tandem to put an end to the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Shibli Faraz, the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, gave a post-cabinet news briefing. He declared that the government will not interfere if the public wants to participate in the upcoming rally organized in Lahore by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). 

He went on to add that strict legal action will be taken against those who are instigating the citizens of the country to flout health guidelines. Dr. Faisal Sultan, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister regarding National Health Services, flanked Faraz. 

The information minister also talked about the rallies being held by the PDM all over the country. He announced that the government is moving to lodge first information reports (FIRs) against the organizers of these large public gatherings. Additionally, charges will also be filed against the leaders of the political parties because they have violated coronavirus guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The government spokesperson accused the opposition of acting irresponsibly and illegally and said that they will be held accountable.