Two Pakistan health department workers suspended for issuing fake COVID-19 vaccine certificate in former PM's name

Numerous health officials have either been suspended or arrested for issuing fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates in the past.

Published: 23rd September 2021 10:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2021 10:04 PM   |  A+A-

Ailing former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif (File Photo | AP)


LAHORE: Two officials of the health department in Pakistan's Punjab province were suspended on Thursday for issuing a fake coronavirus vaccine certificate in the name of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at a government hospital here.

Sharif, who is currently based in London, where he has been undergoing medical treatment since November 2019, was administered the first dose of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine Sinovac on Wednesday as per National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) records, a Punjab government official told PTI.

Sharif, 71, was vaccinated at Lahore's Government Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital, according to NCOC records.

This episode has snowballed into a major political firestorm in Pakistan, with the Opposition party Pakistan Muslim League PML(N) headed by Sharif targeting Prime Minister Imran Khan and his ministers for their shoddy vaccination programme.

PML(Nawaz) Punjab spokesperson Azma Bokhari said that while the computerised national identity card (CNIC) has been blocked by the government, the three-time premier's name had featured in the NCOC data.

"This raises serious questions over the government's vaccination programme. It is ironic that Sharif's vaccination record has also appeared in the NCOC data," she said.

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had ordered an investigation into the matter.

Numerous health officials have either been suspended or arrested for issuing fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates in the past.

According to NCOC figures, Pakistan has reported 2,357 new cases of coronavirus and 58 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Sharif was serving a seven-year prison sentence in Kot Lakhpat Jail on corruption charges when the Lahore High Court granted him a four-week bail and allowed him to leave the country for medical treatment.


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