The registration for COVID-19 vaccination for Pakistanis of and above the age of 30 will begin from April 16 as vaccine supply continues to improve in the country. Registration for people of and above 40 is ongoing, while walk-in vaccination for the age group has begun as well. People can now visit any vaccination centre and get their COVID-19 shot.
Shehroze Kashif, a 19-year-old, has become the youngest Pakistani mountaineer to reach the summit of Mount Everest at 8,848.86 metres. Hailing from Lahore, Kashif is also the youngest Pakistani to have climbed Broad Peak (8,047m) at the age of 17. He used supplemental oxygen on his climbs to Broad Peak and Everest. His expedition to Broad Peak earned him the title “The Broad Boy”.
Pakistan has received about 1.23 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine today which were procured under the COVAX programme. So far about 10.19 million doses of different vaccines (Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino) had reached Pakistan. Out of the 3.5 million Sinovac Covid-19 jabs, one million would reach Pakistan on May 9 whereas another consignment of a million doses would reach the country between May 13-15.
After a gap of 13 years, Pakistan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Wednesday resumed negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA), a top Pakistani diplomat in Riyadh said. The intention to resume the talks was declared during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Islamabad in 2019, but they were further delayed by the coronavirus outbreak.
The number of critical Covid-19 patients on oxygen has reached 5,360 the previous day. “This is 57% more than during the peak last June,” Asad Umar said in series of tweets. Meanwhile, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho revealed that the South African and Brazilian variants of the novel coronavirus disease have been found in samples taken by the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to curtail inbound flights to Pakistan from May 5 to May 20 amid the country’s worsening coronavirus situation. Besides this, the NCOC also allowed the import of 20 cryogenic tanks and decided to shut down the scrap industry of Misri Shah so oxygen could be diverted to the healthcare sector instead.
Pakistan continues to slide on “Inclusive Internet Index” to drop to 90th rank among 120 countries, according to a global report for the year 2021. Pakistan not only remained the lowest in South Asia, but also lags behind other regional states, like Iran. The index includes overall score based on the scores of the “Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness categories”.
Despite the government’s efforts to reform status of the Pakistani passport, Henley Passport Index has ranked the country’s passport as fourth weakest in the world, behind only war-torn Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. The index assesses the travel documents based on how many countries citizens can access without a visa, as well as, using information from the International Air Transport Association.
The federal government has deferred approval of Rs192 billion worth of Hyderabad-Sukkur motorway project due to proposed changes in its financing model. The project now seeks Rs76 billion from the budget compared to the original plan of constructing the road with private sector funding. The project was initially expected to be completed at a cost of Rs165 billion, which has now increased to Rs191.5 billion.
Pakistan saw an increase of 26% in remittances, with a record run of above $2 billion in remittances for the 10th consecutive month in March, the State Bank of Pakistan said Monday. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued to maintain the top spots as key contributors of remittances to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2021, central bank data showed.