Health authorities ask elderly people to remain cool as things have normalized at vaccination centres

Zubair Qureshi

After scenes of mismanagement and complaints from the over-60 years old people that the district health department and the administration of the two main hospitals including the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and Polyclinic had failed to ensure smooth vaccination process on its first day, the health authorities and the administration of the respective health facilities have assured things would normalize in next couple of days.

District Health Officer (DHO) of Islamabad Dr Zaeem Zia in a tweet on Thursday said, “We are trying to make vaccination customer-friendly and regret any inconvenience in case you had.”

There were some reports but we have ramped up systems and today (Thursday) we have not received any reports of inconvenience. Please get your elders registered, he appealed to the residents of Islamabad.

Vaccination in Islamabad like the rest of the country kicked off on March 10 and on the on the first day, a total of 1,500 people over the age of 60 were vaccinated.

Those who had arrived at PIMS remained confused most of the time as the hospital, which was inoculating around 200 people daily, received an additional number of 400 citizens, majority those who were retired bureaucrats, parliamentarians or others wielding some influence in the past. They wanted to get the jabs at the earliest.

In view of the situation observed on the first day, the hospital’s management had decided to increase the vaccination counters and close Out-Patient Department (OPD) and issue tokens to ensure the process went smoothly.

On the second day, Thursday, however the situation was pretty under control and according to one Sadaf Raza who had expressed her anguish and agony on the first day of vaccination when she took her father to Polyclinic and witnessed a free-for-all situation there.

Resultantly, she had to return without getting them vaccinated. About the second day, she wrote on Facebook, “I took my father for his COVID-19 vaccination to Tarlai rural health center.

It was a wonderful experience, everything was very well-organized, neat and clean, proper Sops were followed, the staff was very courteous and facilitating. Since my last experience with Polyclinic was horrible I was fearing the worst.”

Islamabad on Thursday reported an all-time high since the last three months, 350 cases of COVID-19 in one day prompting the authorities to send teams to various shopping malls, public places to ensure health protocols and Standard Operating procedures (SOPs). Four deaths were also reported in one day in the federal capital.

With these latest figures the total number of infections in the federal capital has reached 46,579, deaths 516 and recoveries 43,435.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat also took to twitter and announced both his parents have tested positive.

Later, while talking to Pakistan Observer, Hamza Shafqaat said his parents had developed some mild symptoms, lungs slightly affected.

Though these are minor symptoms yet the fact they are diabetic, we are taking all care, he further said.

We are hospitalizing them in Lahore hospital as they are living there, he further said.