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Punjab govt approves procurement of COVID-19 vaccine

LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to procure COVID-19 vaccines by allocating Rs1.5 billion funds following the approval of the cabinet committee on combating coronavirus.

The Punjab’s cabinet committee on COVID-19 has reviewed the measures for curbing the spread of the virus besides mulling over further steps to protect the lives. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that Rs1.5 billion has been allocated for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine and directed the concerned authorities to take immediate steps for the purchases under the regulations.

A suggestion was forwarded before the cabinet committee to shut all public activities at 6:00 pm excluding the medical stores, fuel stations and vaccination centres across the province.

The chief minister directed to form a committee to thoroughly review the suggestion before taking a final decision. CM Buzdar announced that gyms will be closed across Punjab, whereas, staff of all offices will be reduced to 50 per cent. He added that electro-surgery was also closed in all hospitals.

He directed relevant authorities to take maximum efforts for uninterrupted oxygen supplies to the hospitals on the prescribed rates of the government and also ordered crackdowns against those selling oxygen cylinders on high rates and hoarders. During the session, the committee approved the appointment of data entry operators and vaccinators.

The chief minister said that the authorities must have taken stricts steps for the implementation of COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). He also asked to increase the number of vaccination centres, adding that three new centres will be established in Lahore.

He detailed that Punjab has a testing capacity of 22,000 on a daily basis and 136 vaccination centres are functionals across the province where more than 1 million citizens were inoculated so far including more than 1,700 prisoners in jails aged above 60 years.

CM Usman Buzdar appealed citizens to support the government steps as many lives could be saved from COVID-19 by adopting precautionary measures.

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