Fears coming true

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Apprehensions are coming true with revelations made by Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho on Friday confirming presence of new variants of Covid-19 in Karachi.

In a video message she said a genomic study carried out by Agha Khan University has shown presence of the UK-variant in 10 samples while the South Africa and Brazil variants were detected in two samples.

This should be a source of concern for officials as well as each and every citizen of the country as the UK variant spreads fast, having 60 per cent higher transmissibility (as compared to old variant) and 68pc fatality rate while both South Africa and Brazil variants had high fatality rate.

It is all the more alarming that Brazilian and South Africa variants are not vaccine responsive and can infect even those who have been vaccinated.

The presence of these variants means the authorities concerned are not as vigilant as they should in keeping an eye on incoming travellers.

The situation would become all the more serious if the variant that is ringing alarm bells across India were transmitted due to any laxity.

It is unfortunate that despite gravity of the situation, people are still not following SOPs as they do Eid shopping without masks putting their own lives and those of others at risk.

They should listen to impassioned appeal by the Sindh Minister who urged citizens to avoid parties at home, going out unnecessarily and follow Covid-specific precautions outside home.

It would also be in the fitness of things if the already announced strategy of ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’, to be effective from May 8 to 15, is implemented with the cooperation of troops that have already been deployed to help check spread of the Virus.