Pakistan Government To Block Mobile SIM Cards Of Citizens Who Refuse To Get COVID-19 Dose

Pakistan's Punjab government has announced that it will be blocking the SIM cards of citizens who refuse to get the Covid-19 vaccine. 

According to local media, the government may take the step to control the spread of Covid-19 and as well speed up the vaccination process, including opening walk-in vaccination for adults.

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"Mobile SIMS of people not getting vaccinated may be blocked, it was decided in Cabinet meeting under the chair of Minister for Health Dr. Yasmin Rashid at Civil Secretariat," the Punjab government said in a tweet.

Vaccinated citizens will be allowed to go to cinema halls and restaurants, and marriage halls will be opened as well. However, people suffering from terminal illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancer will be vaccinated on priority.

This won't be the first time that the Pakistani government is taking such drastic measures to increase the pace of vaccination. Last week, the government issued directives to stop the salaries of government employees who refuse to get themselves vaccinated from July.

However, while the Punjab government is employing forceful methods to get its citizens vaccinated, the US on the other hand is offering incentives to get citizens vaccinated. 

Early this month, the United States government teamed up with brewing company Anheuser-Busch to incentivize Americans to get the Covid-19 dose and score themselves free beer. Other incentives offered in the US by the government include cash payments, tickets to baseball games, and gift cards.

Pakistan has nearly 942,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the country, with Punjab alone accounting for 344,000 infected. 

The government said that it is opening walk-in vaccination to anyone over the age of 18-years. Currently, there are 677 vaccination centres operating in Punjab.

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