Pakistan reports first suspected case of Omicron variant


KARACHI – Health authorities are investigating a suspect case of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, in Karachi, it emerged on Thursday.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho in a statement said that a “genomic study is being conducted which will confirm the exact variant but for now getting both doses of the vaccine is the best precaution”.

She further said that the 57-year-old female patient was unvaccinated, adding the suspected patient is being treated at a private hospital in the city.

However, there are conflicting reports whether the patient has any travel history.

As per health officials, the patient is not showing any symptoms of the virus and has been sent home to isolate.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) in its statement about media reports of a suspected case of Omicron variant being reported from Karachi.

“To clarify, the sample is not yet confirmed to be Omicron via whole genome sequencing, which is to be performed after obtaining the sample,” read the statement on Twitter.

The Omicron variant has been reported in 57 nations and the number of patients needing hospitalisation is likely to rise as it spreads, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

The new virus was first detected in South Africa last month.

Following the emergence of the new coronavirus variant, the Civil Aviation Authority notified a new travel advisory for Category-C countries.

The CAA has enlisted 17 countries in the fresh travel advisory, South Africa, Hong Kong, Iraq, Namibia and Ukrane among them.

The passengers travelling from the category-C countries would require permission from the National Command and Operations Centre.

“They would have to compulsorily provide evidence of full Covid-19 vaccination,” the Civil Aviation Authority notified.

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