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3 Jun, 2021 15:18

Pakistani province strips government employees of pay if they refuse to have Covid vaccine

Pakistani province strips government employees of pay if they refuse to have Covid vaccine

The chief minister of Pakistan’s Sindh province, Murad Ali Shah, has told government employees that anyone who fails to have a Covid vaccine will be refused pay starting next month, as the nation seeks to control the virus.

Shah’s announcement on Thursday was made following a meeting with the region’s health officials over the emergence of the first cases of the delta virus in the province, which includes the 14.91 million people living in Karachi.

“Any government employee who is not vaccinated should have their salary stopped from July,” Shah said on Twitter, stating that the finance ministry has been informed of the order.

The nation of 216.6 million has, so far, been slow with its vaccination rollout, having administered 4,956,853 doses to citizens, as misinformation creates hesitancy in Pakistan. Alongside concerns, there have been delays due to the lack of mobile phones and poor literacy skills among some sections of the country, impacting their ability to register to get a shot.

Liaqat Sahi, the secretary general of a labor union at the central State Bank of Pakistan, condemned the politician’s move, calling it “a strange order,” citing how employees “are very much volunteering and willing to get vaccinated.”

Also on rt.com Pakistan launches single-shot ‘PakVac’ Covid-19 jab developed by China’s CanSino

Instead of punishing people who haven’t been vaccinated or are refusing to do so, Sahi claimed that the government should focus on creating more vaccination centers, including in rural areas, to make it easier for people to get inoculated.

Pakistan’s vaccination program, using jabs mainly imported from China, is currently open to all adults over the age of 18.

Since the start of the pandemic, Pakistan has recorded 924,667 confirmed cases of the virus, including 20,930 fatalities.

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