Peshawar mulls blocking SIMs of unvaccinated people

Almost 70% of the new coronavirus cases reported in Peshawar are of the Delta variant, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department revealed Wednesday.

According to reports, SOP violations were leading to a rapid increase in the infection rate of the deadly virus.

“If the virus trend stays the same, the pressure on hospitals will increase,” KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said. “To curb this, the government is mulling on closing SIM cards of unvaccinated people and shutting OPDs.”

Most of the public and private hospitals in Peshawar have reached their maximum capacity, he claimed, adding that the National Disaster Management Authority has provided an additional 50% beds.

“But hospitalisation is the last stage. People need to follow SOPs and get vaccinated.”

So far, only 20% population of Peshawar has been immunised against the novel coronavirus.

Last month, the government launched its door-to-door vaccination campaign in Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Mohmand, and Khyber.

NCOC announces new restrictions

On Tuesday, the National Command and Operation Centre announced that people above the age of 17 years can get vaccinated against the virus from September 1.

Teachers and other staff in the education sector have been instructed to get immunised by September 30. It is mandatory for students to get their first jab of vaccine by October 15. Unvaccinated people won’t be allowed on campuses.

Here are the other restrictions announced by the National Command and Operation Centre:

  • Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to board on both international and domestic flights from September 30.
  • Unvaccinated people visiting and working at malls, hotels, restaurants, and guest houses won’t be allowed inside after September 30.
  • Unvaccinated people will be barred from using public transport after October 15.
  • Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed on motorways and highways after October 31.

Delta variant

The Delta variant of the coronavirus, also known as the Indian variant, has spread to more than 70 countries. It was first detected in India in December 2020. It is highly transmissible and appears to be more severe.

The variant appears to cause severe symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hearing loss, and joint pain.

Other symptoms include skin rash, change in the colour of toes, sore throat, shortness of breath, as well as loss of smell, diarrhea, headache, and runny nose.

The guidelines to avoid exposure to the new variant are the same:

  • Sanitize hands more often
  • Wear a mask
  • Avoid public gatherings
  • Get vaccinated as soon as possible
  • Avoid meeting people with symptoms
  • Avoid unnecessary travel

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