Drive to start on April 7
The Sindh government has decided to vaccinate prisoners above 50 years. The drive will start on April 7.
The health department said that the prison population comprises “vulnerable and neglected” sections of society, adding that the drive will benefit them.
Over 2,000 prisoners will be given vaccines in the province.
The National Command and Control Centre revealed on Monday that more than 0.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Pakistan. A total of 936,383 doses have been given, the NCOC said on Twitter.
Over the past week, 265,831 doses were administered. It is not clear how many people have received just the first dose and how many have fully been vaccinated.
Pakistan has a population of more than 220 million. If we consider adults only, the country requires 110 million vaccine doses.
The Pakistan government had so far been using the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine to inoculate people over 50 years. This was available free of cost.
The CanSino vaccine is now available too, mostly for people above 80 years. A total of 60,000 doses had been imported and up to three million doses are expected by mid-April. These will be prepared and packaged in Pakistan.
The private sector has started administering the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine for around Rs12,000. There are 50,000 doses available and more are expected this week.
Pakistan’s prison population increased in the early months of the pandemic, according to a report on the country’s prisons.
Prisoners of the Pandemic – The Right to Health and COVID-19 in Pakistan’s detention facilities was released December 14, 2020 by the Amnesty International and Justice Project Pakistan.
In April 2020, there were 41,223 prisoners in Punjab, 14,598 in Sindh, 10,794 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 1,820 in Balochistan. In September, the numbers increased to 45,123 in Punjab, 17,322 in Sindh, 11,891 in KP, and 2,076 in Balochistan.
“Compounding the problem of overcrowding during the COVID-19 outbreak, a lockdown imposed from April to June 2020 – followed by court holidays – also forced courts to severely limit operations,” according to the report.
The limitation on operations was further exacerbated by the annual “summer vacations” for courts in Pakistan that started on June 22 and ended on September 5. This resulted in lengthier periods of pre-trial detention for a significant number of detainees.