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Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan on Tuesday said the government was increasing the country's oxygen production capacity in order to support the country's healthcare amid increasing Covid-19 cases. 

While addressing a press conference, the SAPM said Pakistan Steel Mills' (PSM) oxygen plant would be re-activated to meet the country's oxygen demand.

"Using non-essential industries and importing oxygen can also be used to increase the supply," the SAPM said, adding that guidelines would be issued later detailing the effective usage of oxygen supply.

He added that logistics of supplying oxygen were also being worked upon so that there are no hindrances.

Clarifying some recent rumours, Dr Sultan said the government was not only dependant upon vaccine doses that were received as either grants or gifts. 

"That is not true. The government has purchased about three million vaccine doses whereas deals have been signed to purchases 30 million doses," the SAPM said.

He added that the process of procuring vaccines was slow due to their overall shortage around the world. "It does not matter how much money one has. If a thing does not exist, you cannot buy it," he said.

Due to the shortage, vaccine roll out under the COVAX programme had also been delayed, he said further. "Hopefully, the COVAX programme would resume as soon as the problem of the vaccine shortage is resolved," he said.

Sultan further said that the vaccination program in the country was going smoothly. "There are 1,200 vaccination centres across the country having the capacity to vaccinate around 5,000 people per day."

He further urged the nation to follow the Covid-19 protocols as they were set up by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) after a lot of deliberation.

"Getting vaccinated is very important but more important is to follow the Covid-19 SOPs. Wear face masks, maintenance a distance of about six feet, do not go outside of the house unnecessarily and do not roam around in groups," the SAPM said.

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