South African, Brazilian variants present in Pakistan

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Authorities monitoring
Covid-19 variants of concern


Observer Report
Islamabad

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination on Saturday said that the South African and Brazil variants of coronavirus have been detected in the country, urging people to continue taking precautions and register for the vaccine.

It said that the health authorities and the National Command and Operation Centre are regularly monitoring Covid-19 variants of concern.

“As a result of this proactive effort, one sample of the SARS-COV-2; B.1.351 (“South African” variant) and one sample of SARS-COV-2; P1 (“Brazil”) variant have been detected at the National Institute of Health through genome sequencing.”

According to officials of the National Institute of Health, the B.1.351 variant was detected in a sample taken from a man belonging to Mianwali while the P1 virus was identified from a person whose test was conducted at Islamabad’s Poly Clinic.

The NIH officials maintained that the viruses spread at a fast pace and it is premature to say about the vaccine efficacy against these variants.

“The authorities are actively engaged in contact tracing of these positive cases,” the ministry added.

Regardless of which variants have been detected, the SOPs recommended globally continue to be our first line of defence against the coronavirus, it added.

“Please ensure that you wear a mask, practise social distancing and do not leave your home unnecessarily.”

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