Covid-19 vaccination remains suspended on March 25 due to network disruption

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Another 548 cases of Covid-19 reported in Islamabad


Zubair Qureshi

A large number of elderly persons and health workers had to return home unattended and without vaccination as the city administration had announced a public holiday owing to the Youm-e-Pakistan jubilations, the military parade and cultural show, etc.

Mobile phone signals remained disrupted all day leaving the public with little clue whether they would be administered vaccine shots or not.

Though the district government had notified March 25 as an official holiday and got it aired on the official as well as the private media, yet many above-60 persons and health workers turned up at different vaccination centres of Islamabad with a hope to get first shots of vaccination.

However, they had to return disappointed when they were told it was an official holiday.
District Health Officer of the federal capital Dr Zaeem Zia in a message on social media tried to make for the mismanagement by announcing those who received the message for March 25 to be vaccinated should now come the next day ie. March 26. On the night of March 24, he wrote:

“If you can’t make it to the Vaccination centre in the due date and time, tomorrow, please, don’t worry, you can also get that day after.

We are aware that cellular signals may not be on or routes may be close. All those who can easily make it, please do.”

While expressing their displeasure at the poor response by the vaccination centres, a number of elderly persons while talking to Pakistan Observer said the health ministry should have asked the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) to send them a new message cancelling the previous one so that they could be saved from the hassle of visiting the vaccination centres on an off-day.

Rukhsana, an elderly lady from G-11 Markaz said she had received a message in which she was informed that she should visit Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on March 25 at 10.30 a.m. When I reached PIMS I was told it was a holiday, said she quite dejected and in low spirits.

Now I will have to wait for a new message or should I come with the same old message, I don’t know, she said.

This was the story of more or less 45 persons who had to return without receiving Covid-19 jabs on Thursday from different vaccination centres.

Islamabad reported 548 cases of Covid-19 in the past twenty-four hours and two deaths making it 53,684 infections and 554 deaths since the outbreak of coronavirus in the federal capital.