Pakistan’s Punjab government has announced that it will be blocking the mobile service of citizens who refuse to get the COVID-19 jab.
Initially reported by local media and then later confirmed by the Punjab health authority, those who do not get vaccinated will have their mobile SIMs “blocked”.
“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,” the Punjab government said in a tweet.
The government added it is opening walk-in vaccination to anyone over the age of 18 years. There are currently 677 vaccination centres operating in Punjab.
Currently, over 10.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Pakistan, but according to the government of Pakistan, it is hoping to reach get that number up to 100 million by June 2022. The Pakistani government has also committed $1.1 billion to procure additional doses of the vaccine.
As of June 14, there are nearly 942,200 confirmed cases across the country since the start of the pandemic, and just shy of 344,000 in Punjab.
The Punjab government would not the be first government, however, to be thinking about creative ways to get citizens to roll up their sleeves for the COVID-19 jab.
Earlier this month, the United States government teamed up with brewing company Anheusar-Busch to incentivise Americans to get the jab and score themselves free beer. Other incentives in the US have included cash payments, tickets to baseball games, and gift cards.