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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan health officials announced on Saturday that they will continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine and that health workers have started immunizing people over 60.

Sri Lanka has so far received 1.264 million doses of the vaccine and as of Saturday 760,765 Sri Lankans had received an injection.

The Health Ministry said on Saturday it continued to use the AstraZeneca vaccine despite its suspension in some countries, including Denmark.

According to Minister of State Channa Jayasumana, who oversees the production, supply and regulation of pharmaceuticals, Sri Lanka has yet to make a decision to suspend the vaccine.

Sri Lanka received 500,000 doses of the vaccine from India as a donation, while the island nation again purchased the same number from the Serum Institute of India. He received an additional 264,000 doses from the COVAX facility.

Sri Lanka also plans to purchase 13 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine directly.

Sri Lanka’s total number of positive cases on Saturday stood at 87,285, with 525 deaths.

ISLAMABAD – The provincial government of Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab, has announced the closure of 15 famous shrines, including that of the Sufi saint known as Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore, amid the third wave of the coronavirus.

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