Punjab to block SIM cards of people who decide against getting vaccinated

Ummay Farwa
A person getting vaccinated against coronavirus. — AFP/File

The Punjab government on Thursday decided to block the mobile SIM cards of people who refuse to get vaccinated against coronavirus, as the country ramps up its vaccination drive.

The decision was made during a meeting with Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid in the chair, with high-ranking civil and military officials in attendance.

During the meeting, the officials decided that walk-in vaccinations would be opened for people above 18-years old from June 12, in line with Pakistan's aim to inoculate 70 million people by the end of December this year.

The provincial government will set up mobile vaccination camps outside shrines across the province and will vaccinate people suffering from cancer and aids on a priority basis.

Upon getting vaccinated, people will be able to enter cinemas, restaurants, and attend weddings.

The decision comes a day after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had announced the opening up of the walk-in vaccination facility to all citizens above 18, starting Friday, June 11.

"From 11th June onwards 18 years+ citizens will be able to avail the walk-in facility in vaccination centres," the forum said in a statement.

The forum undertook a comprehensive review of the vaccination process and implementation of COVID safety measures.

The NCOC said that the mass vaccination campaign will be continued under a three-pronged strategy.

  • Voluntarily vaccinations by all citizens.
  • Obligatory vaccinations for public and private sector employees. All public sector employees will have to be vaccinated by June 30, 2021.
  • Incentivised vaccination campaign for which NCOC is considering introducing certain incentives for various sectors to encourage vaccination.

All vaccination centres will remain open daily from 8am to 10pm starting June 11, with the exception of Sunday, when they will be closed. They will remain open on Fridays as well.

By the end of June, NCOC expects to complete the "process of developing IT based solutions for verification of vaccination certificates".