Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Friday revealed that after detection of Delta strain cases, cases of the Epsilon variant have been reported in the province.
“The new strain was first reported in California in 2020 and was declared a Variant of Concern by the US Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).”
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, the health minister claimed that the health department has started conducting sample tests and sequencing to find out more about the new strain.
Dr Yasmin Rashid pointed out that 70 percent of the reported cases in Punjab are of the Delta variant, adding that to curb the rising number of cases, the government has launched a door-to-door vaccination campaign in major cities of the province.
The minister informed that coronavirus positivity ratio in Lahore has been reported as 3.4 percent. “No corruption will be tolerated in Covid-19 vaccination process and neither there is any room for negligence.”
Studies reveal it is 20% more transmissible than other coronavirus variants. In June, about 1% of the total Covid-19 cases in the US were from the Epsilon variant, The Independent reported. The variant has been reported in at least 34 other countries after it was reported in the US.
On the other hand, Pakistan reported 86 deaths in the last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 1,024,861. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 23,295.
According to the latest figures issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 4,537 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.