POC holders
The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) acknowledged that the holder of the POC was Pakistani and decided to address the issue as soon as possible. _ File/photo

The government initiates Covid-19 vaccination for seniors. But Pakistani Origin Cards (POC) holders and Pakistani foreign spouses cannot be vaccinated, this became known on Monday.

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) acknowledged that the holder of the POC was Pakistani and decided to address the issue as soon as possible.

According to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) website, the POC program aims to provide unprecedented incentives for foreigners to return home. While ensuring that countries of origin remain closely connected to foreigners around the world. It includes multiple visas for Free admission to Pakistan, permanent residence in Pakistan apart from reporting to police or immigration office etc. You also have the right to buy, sell, own, manage and dispose of movable and immovable property anywhere in Pakistan. Bank accounts in Pakistan Open and manages entry / from Pakistan quickly on all designated routes, ports, and locations. It is said that POC is proof of identity, not KTP and cardholders can get a job.

According to NADRA sources, 180,000 people have received self-government certificates. However, it is not certain how many of them are over the age of 60.

The ministry has promised to address the problem as vaccination for the elderly starts tomorrow.

An NHS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that hotline 1166 is not registering POC holders for vaccinations.

Read more: Asad Umar, Vaccination to people above 60 start from March 10

In his 70s, Javed Akhtar told that he had sent a CNIC number on the hotline and received confirmation. That he had registered and would receive a sample of the Covid-19 vaccine soon. However, he regrets that this has not worked for his American wife, despite having lived with him in Pakistan for years.

“I sent her POC number, which also has 13 digits just like CNIC. But I was informed that is not a valid card. I tried it again and again and every time got the same message. Later, when I inquired I shocked to know that POC holders are ineligible for vaccination,” he said.

Mr. Akhtar, a resident of Islamabad, said, “As Covid-19 vaccine is not available in the market. I want to ask the decision-makers whether I will have to send my wife to the United States for vaccination. It is a matter of embarrassment for me that my wife, who has lived with me here for three decades, is ineligible for vaccination”.

NHS ministry spokesman Sajid Shah said that all POC holders must qualify for vaccination because they are considered Pakistani.

I have talked to the higher authorities and have told them that soon a meeting will hold to discuss the issue. We will sort out the matter and POC holders will declared eligible for vaccination,” he added.

According to the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,592 new Covid-19 cases and 22 additional deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours.

The country’s number is 18,415. A total of 2,071 patients hospitalized across the country, and 211 of them underwent ventilation as of Monday.

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