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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reported the primary suspected case of the brand new COVID-19 variant Omicron, Sindh Minister for Well being and Inhabitants Welfare Dr Azra Pechuho stated Thursday.

“A genomic examine is being performed which is able to verify the precise variant however for now getting each doses of the vaccine is the most effective precaution,” she stated in a video assertion issued by the provincial well being ministry.

“We’ve not but performed a genomic examine however the way in which the virus is behaving, it appears seemingly that it’s the Omicron variant,” she stated.  

Individually, the well being division disclosed that the 57-year-old affected person, with no journey historical past, is presently isolating at residence, including that efforts are underway to conduct contact tracing to verify whether or not there are extra infections or not.

The affected person was unvaccinated and had no COVID-19 signs. Deputy commissioner East Karachi has been requested to impose a micro good lockdown within the space.

“4 individuals have been examined to verify Omicron presence out of which ends up of two returned optimistic whereas the report of 1 affected person is awaited,” the assertion stated.

The well being official added that two of them have been despatched residence whereas the remainder are nonetheless hospitalised. Just one individual out of those 4 examined had been vaccinated.

NIH clarifies

In the meantime, the Nationwide Institute of Well being  (NIH) has clarified that the pattern just isn’t but confirmed to be Omicron through entire genome sequencing.

The NIH will get hold of the pattern for additional testing.

Talking to Geo Pakistan earlier in the present day, Sindh Parliamentary Well being Secretary Qasim Siraj Soomro stated that it was imminent that Omicron would attain Pakistan as flights are proceed.

“On the worldwide degree, a number of PCR assessments weren’t optimistic in sufferers who have been later identified with Omicron an infection. The brand new virus is extremely mutated.”

He added that the PCR kits that we’ve are centered on the Delta variant.

Steps taken to counter Omicron risk

The nationwide apex COVID-19 physique had already taken measures to regulate the unfold of the Omicron variant within the nation and introduced a large vaccination plan that began from Dec 1.

In a gathering of the Nationwide Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) held earlier this month, it was determined to inoculate booster pictures to immunocompromised individuals, healthcare staff and people aged over 50 years.

The discussion board had additionally tightened journey restrictions banning passengers from 15 international locations together with southern African nations and making COVID-19 testing and vaccination for inbound travellers from Class B international locations.

It was additionally emphasised through the NCOC assembly that the Omicron variant is spreading quick throughout the globe and the one safety in opposition to it’s vaccination and following fundamental SOPs, together with the carrying of face masks, practising social distancing and washing palms.

The NCOC had agreed to take strict measures relating to the compulsory vaccination regime. It was determined that the vaccination groups must be deployed at varied public spots to vaccinate the people on the spot.

The discussion board had instructed the provinces and authorities involved to indicate a “zero tolerance” coverage relating to an compulsory vaccination regime.

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