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Pakistan’s Covid-19 death toll crosses 12,000-mark

ISLAMABAD: With 59 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the country’s tally of fatalities due to the infection crossed the grim 12,000 milestone on Monday.

Data from the government’s portal keeping track of the outbreak in Pakistan also showed 1,037 fresh infections in a single day, taking the national tally to 555,511 cases.

With the new cases, the active Covid-19 cases in the country stand at 31,983, while the death toll has reached 12,026.

In the last 24 hours, the portal recorded a transmission rate of 3.22 percent.

The government launched a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive with the Sinopharm vaccine on February 2, a day after receiving half a million jabs as a “gift” from China.

As per the roll-out plan, the vaccine will first be made available to more than 400,000 doctors and frontline healthcare workers, teachers and social workers because they run the highest risk of exposure to the contagious disease.

After that, the shots will be provided to citizens over the age of 65, who generally face a higher mortality risk from the virus.

The government aims to inoculate 70 million, out of 100 million eligible people, by the year-end.

Pakistan received its first tranche of the Sinopharm jabs, given by China as a “gift”, on Tuesday last. The shipment marked the first shots to be imported into the country where more than 549,032 cases of the disease have been reported since the outbreak in February last.

In addition, the government is due to receive a further 1.1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine by the end of this month, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had announced late last month.

Separately, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan announced on Saturday that the government has secured 17 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX initiative. Of these, he had said, about seven million doses will be available in the first quarter of the year and the rest by the end of 2021.

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