New Delhi: While states in the US offered free beer, tuition fee etc to lure people to vaccination camps, Lahore administration in Pakistan has taken the methods of a true typical desi parent. The city authorities have decided to extend some key civic services to only those who are vaccinated.
Lahoris won’t be able to buy fuel at petrol pumps if they’re not vaccinated. The unvaccinated won’t be allowed inside restaurants, go shopping inside malls or take the city bus ride either, reports Geo News.
‘No vaccine No Service’ banners have been put outside petrol pumps.
No petrol, transport, restaurant facilities for Lahore's unvaccinated citizens pic.twitter.com/NviYk4RcxY
— پاک فوج (@PakFauj) September 1, 2021
Samaa TV also put it clearly for its viewers, running the ticker: ‘Vaccination Card hoga Toh Petrol Aur Khana Milega (only vaccination certificates will get you petrol and food)’.
The Lahore administration’s mechanism to check if an individual is vaccinated or not needs a bit of work though. Geo News reported that the staff at city’s petrol pumps were merely verbally asking people if they were vaccinated or not, without any demand for physical certificates. Unsurprisingly, nobody said no.
The implementation of this rule on the ground was flimsy, according to a Geo News report. “Petrol pump personnel aren’t checking if those who’ve come here on their bikes and cars are actually vaccinated or not”. “Elaan toh ho jaate hain par unpe amal nahi kiya jaata (announcements aren’t abided by)”, a reporter was told by a citizen at a petrol pump in Lahore.
Unlike the petrol pump staff quoted by Geo News, the deputy commissioner of Lahore didn’t just take people’s word for it. He went to a fuel station in Lahore to check vaccination certificates and distribute masks.
Accompanied by the district admin officials, visited several petrol pumps and checked the corona vaccination certificates of consumers as unvaccinated people are not allowed to get fuel from today.
Also distributed masks to the public and urged them to strictly comply with SOPs. pic.twitter.com/e5omUnjNy3
— Deputy Commissioner Lahore (@DCLahore) September 1, 2021
The decision might seem strict but was taken in public interest. The Punjab region in Pakistan has recently reported a spike in Covid cases, and according to the province’s health minister, Yasmin Rashid, almost 70 per cent of patients who are on ventilators are unvaccinated.
The unvaccinated have a huge incentive before them now—of being able to access most social places in Lahore. The stakes are high.
There is one more incentive: fuel is set to get cheaper in Pakistan as Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has asked the government to reduce the prices of petrol by Rs 3.5 per litre and Rs 5 per litre for diesel.