Coronavirus kills 53, infects 2,272 in a day: NCOC

Ministry plans vaccinators’ training; more Punjab areas go under lockdown

ISLAMABAD: The coronavirus pandemic claimed 53 more lives during the last twenty-four hours, lifting the national death toll due to Covid-19 to 10,311, said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday.
As many as 2,272 new cases of the coronavirus were reported across the country during the aforementioned period, pushing the national tally of infections to 486,634. According to the NCOC, a total of 44,392 samples were tested, out of which 2,272 turned out to be positive. The national positivity ratio of infections was recorded at 5.11 per cent.
There are a total of 35,663 active cases of the coronavirus while the number of recovered patients stands at 440,660. A total of 1,784 patients currently under treatment in different hospitals across the country were stated to be in critical condition.
At least 17 more patients succumbed to Covid-19 in Sindh during the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 3,611. According to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, the province reported 961 new cases as the tally surged to 218,597. As many as 753 patients recovered from the deadly disease, taking the total to 197, 430.
Punjab recorded 847 fresh cases of the virus during the last twenty-four hours. According to the provincial healthcare department, 24 people also succumbed to the virus, raising the death toll to 4,109. A total of 124,461 people have recovered from the virus in Punjab so far.
So far Sindh has reported 217,636 infections, Punjab, 140,188, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 59,255, Balochistan, 18,218, Islamabad Capital Territory, 38,146, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), 8,325, and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has reported 4,866 cases.
The Punjab government imposed smart lockdown in several areas of Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan on Sunday to control coronavirus pandemic. According to a spokesperson of the provincial Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, the smart lockdown has been imposed in the areas from where excessive corona cases have been reported.
Meanwhile, the federal health authorities have decided to train special staff for the Covid-19 vaccination in the country. The health ministry will prepare specially trained staff in collaboration with the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA). The experts from the EPI and NADRA will train the staff for corona vaccination and the Record Management System, according to sources.
The especially trained staff for corona vaccination drive will administer vaccine shots to front-line health workers. Countrywide training sessions for the corona vaccination staff will begin from January 04 to 15. The provincial master trainers will be trained from 04 to 11 January, sources said.
The master trainers for KP, AJK and GB will be trained at Islamabad. The training of master trainers will be held at the provincial offices of the EPI, according to sources. The master trainers will conduct training sessions at district and tehsil level in provinces from January 11-15.
The Expanded Programme on Immunisation will conduct the corona vaccination drive and will assist the health department in the first phase of vaccination, the sources added.
Earlier, the health department Sindh on Friday notified the Provincial Vaccine Administration Coordination Cell (PVACC) after getting a commitment from the National Vaccine Task Force and the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) for supply of the Covid-19 vaccine by Jan 15.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho stated that the NCOC and the National Vaccine Task Force had committed to supply the province with 250,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses by mid-January and each recipient would get two doses with a gap of 21 days.
In the first phase, healthcare providers performing duties in the Covid wards and other front-line workers engaged in handling coronavirus patients would be administered the vaccine, she informed officials.

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