PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz on Friday inaugurated the anti-polio campaign by administering vaccine to children below the age of five years.

Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Coordinator Abdul Basit was also present on the occasion. The campaign, which will kick off in the entire KP from Monday, will see administration of polio vaccine to 6.5 million below the age of five years. As many as 28,528 teams have been constituted for the vaccination campaign, which include 25,410 mobile teams, 1,091 transit teams, 1,864 fixed teams and 163 roaming teams.

The KP government has directed that all the resources must be made available to the polio vaccination teams. The government has appealed to the parents to fully cooperate with the vaccination teams to make it successful.

Dr Kazim Niaz said it is first time in six months that a full-fledged vaccination campaign has been launched in the whole province. Admitting that carrying out the polio vaccination at a time which coronavirus has not been fully defeated will be a huge challenge, the chief secretary said the provincial task force in its meeting has completed arrangements in this regard.

Dr Kazim said security arrangements for the polio vaccination teams have also been finalised. He said he will personally supervise the vaccination campaign to make it successful. He said wild polio cases have reduced significantly.

The chief secretary said continuation of academic activities in educational institutions while fully observing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of coronavirus will also be a huge challenge. He said schools with two or more coronavirus cases will be closed. He said several schools have been closed over violation of SOPs. He made it clear that violation of SOPs will never be tolerated.

Dr Kazim said the traders, Ulema and general public cooperated with the government in an exemplary way to overcome the challenge of coronavirus. He said the government is well aware of the problems of businessmen and other people and all the sectors have been reopened gradually. However, he said, it is imperative to fully observe the SOPs to make sure that coronavirus don’t strike back.