LAHORE - The Punjab government has decided to vigorously carryout upcoming anti-polio campaign in November in view of possible hurdles due to rise in Covid-19 cases. 

The health authorities have set a target of immunizing about 20 million children up to the age of five years during the campaign.

Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid presided over a meeting to review the steps being taken to eradicate polio, at the Chief Secretary’s Office here on Tuesday. 

The Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners Lahore, and officers concerned attended the meeting whereas the Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, and Chief Executive Officers Health participated through video link. Dr Yasmin said that the number of coronavirus cases is increasing due to which it may not be possible to continue the anti-polio campaign regularly. 

She directed that November’s campaign be made a success by paying special attention to the coverage of missed children.

The Chief Secretary said that there is a need to work with the national spirit to eradicate polio. 

He said that the human resource model and micro-plans should be reviewed in the vulnerable districts. He asked the officers to ensure 100 percent coverage and take action against the teams that do not follow the micro-plans. He mentioned that the presence of poliovirus in environmental samples is a matter of concern. 

He also issued instructions regarding the use of information technology (IT) for monitoring measures against COVD-19, polio, dengue, and other infectious diseases.

Secretary Health briefed the meeting that the coverage rate in the anti-polio campaign in October was 103 percent and instead of the target of 19.2 million, 19.9 million children were vaccinated against the disease. During the November campaign, more than 20 million up to the age of five would be immunized, he concluded.