Pakistan Unprepared For New COVID-19 Variant, Reports Local Media

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Pakistan Unprepared For New COVID-19 Variant, Reports Local Media

| Updated: December 26, 2022 14:02

The new coronavirus variant, which is rapidly spreading in certain nations, including China, appears to enter Pakistan, according to media reports on Monday.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) claims that the situation is being actively watched, but the media house claims that no procedures, such as quick testing and screening of incoming travellers, have been taken at the airports to look for positive Covid-19 instances.

Dr Shahzad Ali Khan, an NCOC member, stated that since “viruses react differently in different situations, it was unclear how the new variations would act in Pakistan.” He further added, “We have been closely observing the situation. It is a fact that a sudden spread [of Covid-19] has been observed in China because there were strict restrictions in place and an abrupt removal of these curbs allowed the virus to spread.”

Independent experts, according to the reports, think the NCOC should release new guidelines and present a “position statement.” According to microbiologist Prof Javaid Usman, after limits were abruptly loosened, the virus in China began to spread quickly.

Dust is one of the main pollutants, he continued, and the lack of rain in Pakistan is currently polluting the environment. In accordance with a report from the National Institute of Health, 15 new Covid-19 cases were reported nationwide on Sunday. 16 patients had serious conditions, and the case positivity ratio was 0.4%.

A minimum of 3,749 Covid tests were performed, around 406 in Islamabad, 107 in Faisalabad, 920 in Lahore, and 321 in Peshawar. The coronavirus strain that is becoming more prevalent in China, according to the report, is a subvariant of the deadly Omicron variant, BF.7 or BA.

The 1.4 billion-person nation started dismantling its “zero-Covid” policy of lockdowns and testing this month as a result of public protests. 

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