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Karachi’s biggest Covid vaccination centre shut


Report by Rizwan Alam

Karachi’s biggest coronavirus vaccination facility, the Expo Centre, was shut Monday after paramedic staff and data operators announced a strike over the non-payment of salaries.

The staff at the centre said they haven’t been paid in over eight months. “Every time we protest, the health department shuts our mouth with fake promises. But now we won’t stay quiet,” a doctor at the facility said.

Another protester said that despite life threats, doctors and nurses at the facility worked overtime to make Karachi Covid-free. “This is how they’re paying us back.”

After the strike, a large number of people, mostly waiting for their second dose of the covid vaccine, were sent back home.

SAMAA Digital reached out to the health department but received no response.

Doctors, nurses, and data operators at the Expo Centre were hired by the Sindh Health Department and were paid on a contractual basis. A total of 458 nurses, also acting as vaccinators, 38 doctors, and over 150 data operators are employed at the facility.

Each shift has an estimated 360 health workers to administer the COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccination centre at Karachi’s Expo has the capacity to carry out up to 30,000 vaccinations per day and stays open 24 hours. It has 12 registration counters with six blocks that contain 96 cubicles. The facility was launched earlier this year in May.



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