Health authorities prepared to tackle new Covid variants

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Health authorities on Monday said they were fully prepared to deal with any sub-variant of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, including BF.7, in the country.

According to official sources at the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, an efficient system with a proper management team was fully functional in the country to remain vigilant and was ready to make an emergency plan in case of any untoward situation. They said that there was a surveillance system at all entry points of the country including airports. They added that medical staff at intensive care unit (ICU) of hospitals across the country were also active to handle any situation. The authorities said that genome sequencing was started in laboratories of all four provinces and the federal capital. They added that 90 percent of the country’s population already got the Covid-19 vaccine so they are safe.

They said that special directions had been issued to ensure the availability of an adequate quantity of ventilators, oxygen supply, and antiviral medicines in the hospitals. Meanwhile, as per data shared by the National Institute of Health (NIH), 14 new Coronavirus cases were reported during the last 24 hours across the country. The case positivity ratio is 0.53 percent while 18 patients were in critical condition.No death was reported from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours while 3,394 tests were conducted. Around 151 tests were conducted in Islamabad, 824 in Lahore, and 55 in Multan. As many as four confirmed cases with a 0.49% case positivity ratio were reported from Lahore, one case with a 0.66% case positivity ratio was reported from Islamabad and one case with a 1.82 % case positivity ratio was reported from Multan. Meanwhile, Minister for National Health Services Abdul Qadir Patel appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders, healthcare staff, vaccination teams, and administration working across Pakistan despite multiple challenges. He advised all provinces and regions to administer booster doses to further improve protection against Covid-19 transmission. He said that in view of the global pandemic situation, the Central Health Establishment (CHE) will be strengthened to enhance its functionality.