The Sindh government has decided to write to the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block the SIMs of unvaccinated people in the province.
According to the Sindh government’s spokesman, Murtaza Wahab, Chief Minister (CM) Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, gave the nod to the proposal in a high-level meeting held earlier today in view of the rising COVID-19 cases in Sindh.
During the meeting, CM Sindh also directed relevant authorities to approach PTA through the federal government to send warning messages to users of all mobile networks in the province to get vaccinated within a week before blocking their SIMs.
If the PTA approves the Sindh government’s request, Sindh would become the second province to block the SIMs of unvaccinated people after Punjab, which last month decided to block the SIMs of all unvaccinated citizens.
On the other hand, telecommunication companies are expected to oppose the Sindh government’s move of blocking SIMs of unvaccinated citizens just like they did when Punjab proposed a similar move. They argued that there were different options that the Punjab government could exercise to encourage the citizens to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Telecom industry wouldn’t be pleased with such calls, as they argue that basic rights shouldn’t be curbed instead government could start banning non-essential items for those who aren’t vaccinated. The Telecom industry is still eyeing its options and may approach PTA for a stance when needed.
Previously, the Sindh government had also decided to hold the monthly salaries of its unvaccinated employees. The decision was a part of the “no vaccination, no salary” initiative to encourage the employees of the provincial government to vaccinate themselves against Coronavirus.