75 cases of Omicron variant confirmed so far in Pakistan: Institute of Health

December 29, 2021

The National Institute of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday that a total of 75 cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant have been confirmed in the country so far.

In a statement, the NIH said the Department of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC), the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) and provincial departments were vigilantly monitoring cases of ‘Omicron in Pakistan since its designation. a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was reported on December 13 in Karachi,” the statement read.

“As of December 27, a total of 75 Omicron cases have been confirmed; 33 in Karachi, 17 in Islamabad and 13 in Lahore, ”the statement said, adding that the remaining 12 cases were associated with international travel. The NIH did not provide further details.

“The relevant authorities have isolated the patients and initiated the search for contracts in order to control the spread of the variant,” said the NIH.

Vaccination and adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) continue to be our best defense against Covid-19 despite the reported mutations, the statement added.

“All government-approved Covid-19 vaccines available in Pakistan remain very effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalization. The government urges everyone to obtain the two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as well as the booster dose in accordance with the eligibility criteria and the process, ”the statement read.

Pakistan reported its first suspected case of the Omicron variant on December 8. After its genetic sequencing, the Aga Khan University Hospital confirmed that it was the new variant on December 13.

Islamabad confirmed its first case on December 25. Zaeem Zia, Islamabad District Health Officer (DHO), told Dawn.com the case was detected in a 47-year-old man, adding that he worked in Islamabad and traveled out of town to business purposes. The patient had no history of travel abroad, he said.

“Arrival inevitable”
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health Dr Faisal Sultan last month sounded the alarm, saying the arrival of the Omicron variant was inevitable and that it was only a matter of time.

“This [strain] must spread around the world, as we have seen before, when a variant occurs, the world is so interconnected that it is impossible to stop it, ”said Umar, adding that vaccination was the solution. more logical to curb the threat.

Pakistan on November 27 banned travel from six South African countries – South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia – and Hong Kong following the discovery of the variant.

This travel ban was then extended to nine other countries: Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland and Zimbabwe.

Additionally, the National Command and Operations Center has placed 13 countries – US, UK, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Russia, Thailand, France, Austria, Afghanistan and Turkey – in category B.

All passengers from these countries must be fully vaccinated, while anyone over the age of six must have a negative PCR test report issued no later than 48 hours before boarding.

Omicron has been classified by the World Health Organization as a “highly transmissible” variant – the same category that includes the predominant Delta variant.

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