Saturday Jul 31 2021

Karachi: Glass door breaks, security personnel injured as people rush to get vaccinated at Expo Centre

Chaos ensued on Saturday at Karachi's Expo Centre after people rushed to get themselves vaccinated against coronavirus, following warnings by the Sindh government and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Expo Centre — the biggest inoculation centre in Sindh — was soon overrun and during the hustle and bustle, a glass door was broken and a security personnel was injured.

'Citizens enraged over interruptions'

The police, explaining why the events had transpired, said vaccination staff stationed in hall no 3 at the Expo Centre went on a protest for two hours after they were not given salaries — halting the inoculations there.

Similarly, the vaccination process was halted in hall no 4 as coronavirus vaccine cartridges were finished, police said.

"The vaccination process stopped for several hours which led to citizens getting enraged."

People try to cut lines at Dow

In another vaccination centre set up at Dow Hospital, people were seen paying no heed at all to coronavirus SOPs — sparking fears of the spread of COVID-19.

Citizens tried to get ahead of each other due while standing in long queues, and the administration and police failed to bring the situation under control.

A similar disorder was witnessed at Civil Hospital where its administration miserably failed to manage the public coming for inoculation. Violation of social distancing and other COVID-19 SOPs were seen at different vaccination centres on Saturday.

The rush witnessed comes after the Sindh government last week officially asked the NCOC to approve the blocking of mobile phone sims and social media accounts of unvaccinated users.

The Opposition leader of Sindh Assembly Halim Adil Sheikh also visited the Expo Centre and criticised the provincial government for its management.

The vaccination has been sent by the federal government for the people of Sindh. “The vaccination is from the federal government, but the Expo Centre is under the provincial government’s administration,” he said, adding that thousands of people are in queue to get themselves inoculated, but the Sindh government hasn’t made any proper arrangements.

Following Sindh's letter, the NCOC on July 29, set an August 31 deadline for sectors dealing with the public to get their staff vaccinated.

NCOC said students over 18 years of age, teachers, transporters, government employees, hotel and wedding hall staffers and personnel of law enforcement agencies must get themselves vaccinated before the end of the next month.

On July 29, hundreds of people lined up outside Karachi's vaccination centres, the threat appearing to work.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said today that the country had recorded another vaccination record, as for the first time, total inoculations crossed 900,000 yesterday.

The federal minister said 2,600 vaccination centres and 2,979 mobile units were operating across Pakistan "to make this massive campaign possible".