The Sindh government has reportedly shut down Karachi’s largest coronavirus vaccination facility, the Expo Centre, after paramedic staff and data operators announced a strike over non-payment of salaries.
The staff said on Monday that they haven’t been paid salary for the last eight months. “Every time we protest, the health department promised payment. But now we won’t stay quiet,” a doctor said.
Another protester said that despite life threats, doctors and nurses at the facility worked overtime to make Karachi Covid-free. “This is how they’re paying us back.”
After the strike, a large number of people, mostly waiting for their second dose of the covid vaccine, were sent back home.
Doctors, nurses, and data operators at the Expo Centre were hired by the Sindh Health Department on contracts. A total of 458 nurses, also acting as vaccinators, 38 doctors, and more than 150 data operators are employed at the facility.
Each shift has an estimated 360 health workers to administer the COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccination centre has the capacity to vaccinate up to 30,000 people per day and stays open 24 hours. It has 12 registration counters with six blocks that contain 96 cubicles.
The facility was launched earlier this year in May.