Millions of Pakistanis may get SIMs blocked if COVID vaccine is refused

The strategy is being employed by health officials in the Punjab province to try and encourage more of the population to get jabbed

Pakistan’s Punjab province has announced that it will block the mobile service of citizens who refuse to get vaccinated in a bid to encourage more of the population to get inoculated.

“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,” said the Punjab health authority in a tweet.

A different spokesperson from the Punjab Specialised Healthcare Department also confirmed the news. "Final decision has been taken to block the mobile SIM cards of people not getting vaccinated,” said Syed Hammad Raza, as reported by local media outlet Dawn.

Shandana Khan, CEO of local NGO Rural Support Programmes Network, said that blocking the SIM cards of people who don’t get vaccinated could be detrimental, in a comment to CBS News.

"In many rural areas where phones are critical to transfer money, take micro-credit, etc., and where vaccines are not readily available, this approach is not likely to work," she said.

"In fact, it will create further problems. There are not enough vaccines at this point either. Getting vaccines and improving outreach in Punjab villages is crucial. Remote villages have no vaccines available, so a door-to-door campaign may be the convincing factor." 

Related Resource

IT Pro 20/20: What the EU's new AI rules mean for business

The 17th issue of IT Pro 20/20 considers the effect of new regulations on the IT industry

IT Pro 20/20 Issue 17 - What the EU's new AI rules mean for businessDOWNLOAD NOW

In April, the heads of Google and Microsoft announced they would help to fight the growing coronavirus crisis in Pakistan’s neighbour, India. Google announced it would give £13 million in new funding to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis and help UNICEF get urgent medical supplies. Microsoft stated it would help purchase critical oxygen concentration devices too.

A month later, it emerged that iPhone 12 production fell by 50% at a Foxconn factory in India as workers infected with COVID-19 were forced to leave their posts. The facility, in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, produces the devices for the country. Unnamed sources told Reuters the news, with one stating that over 100 employees tested positive for the virus.

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

FCC expels China Telecom from the US
Network & Internet

FCC expels China Telecom from the US

27 Oct 2021
AWS and Google win Japanese government cloud contract
cloud computing

AWS and Google win Japanese government cloud contract

27 Oct 2021
Telstra to acquire Digicel Pacific for $1.6 billion with help from government
Network & Internet

Telstra to acquire Digicel Pacific for $1.6 billion with help from government

26 Oct 2021
Australian Federal Police plots "aggressive" cyber division following law change
encryption

Australian Federal Police plots "aggressive" cyber division following law change

25 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?
cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?

27 Oct 2021