The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in collaboration with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) organized a zoom meeting with chambers of commerce & industry of the country to discuss the mechanism for setting up Vaccination Centres (VCs) in the premises of chambers, associations and industrial areas to increase the vaccination of business community, their employees and families in order to control the spread of third wave of Covid-19 pandemic and lift restrictions on businesses. Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan President ICCI along with Presidents of Rawalpindi, KPK and Quetta CCIs physically attended the meeting while the Office Bearers of Pakistan Business Council, FPCCI, Overseas CCI, Jhelum, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Lahore, Multan, Bhawalpur, Sargodha, Mardan and Karachi CCIs as well as Chain Store Association attended the meeting through zoom.
Addressing the meeting, Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Planning & Development and Chairman NCOC said that with the right decisions of the government, Pakistan was poised to achieve 5 percent economic growth this year and 6 percent next year. He said that the government wanted to set up VCs in the premises of trade bodies to increase vaccination drive across the country in collaboration with the private sector. He shared the plan of setting up VCs with the participants and sought their cooperation for its early execution. He said that every trade body should nominate a focal person to work with DHO (District Health office) and DCO (District Coordination Office) of their respective areas for setting up VCs. He said that the government would arrange the supply and distribution of vaccines at VCs and these VCs would be connected with the NADRA system for updating the vaccination database. He said that the government wanted to increase the VCs from 1700 to more than 4000 across the country for inoculation of maximum people as it was the only way to come out of Covid issue and normalize business activities. He assured that the restrictions on businesses would be lifted in proportion to the reduction in positivity rate of coronavirus.
Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, ICCI stressed that VCs should be set up at ICCI, main markets and shopping malls of Islamabad to maximize the vaccination of the business community, their employees and families. He said that ICCI has already discussed this proposal with DHO Islamabad and would fully support this drive for removing all restrictions on businesses. He said that ICCI will take the lead by setting up the very first vaccination centre in private sector at Centaurus, Islamabad by tomorrow with separate counters for males and females for the vaccination of business community, employees, tenants and walk-in customers.
The Office Bearers Pakistan Business Council, FPCCI, Overseas CCI, Chain Store Association and various CCIs also spoke at the occasion and assured their full support enhancing the outreach of VCs across Pakistan. They called for observing 1 safe day and extending business hours up to 10 pm or 12 am midnight for revival of business activities. They also highlighted the issues of certain types of vaccines for Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Europe and urged that the government should take up these issues with relevant authorities for redress. Asad Umar assured that the Foreign Office has already taken up these issues for resolution.