Punjab’s provincial government is turning to coercive measures to increase participation in its Covid-19 vaccination program, after unveiling plans to disable the SIM cards of people who decline to get jabbed.
The extreme decision was made during a meeting of high-ranking civil and military officials chaired by Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid.
Rashid said that the policy would disable SIM cards belonging to those who fail to get vaccinated “beyond a certain time.”
“We are doing all we can to compel people to get vaccinated… The government cannot allow individuals, who do not want to get vaccinated, to risk lives of those who are already vaccinated,” the health minister told Pakistan’s Express Tribune.
The measure is designed to counter “negative propaganda” about the jab and ensure that vaccination targets are met, Dawn reported, citing the official. The provincial government is aiming to vaccinate 40 million residents by November.
In addition to the SIM card restrictions, authorities might also ban unvaccinated people from going to parks, restaurants and malls, according to media reports.
And it's going to get worse.