Pakistan investigates first suspected Omicron variant case

NCOC and Sindh govt have different opinions

Pakistan reported on Thursday its first case of Omicron, the new variant of coronavirus, in a female patient.

According to the Sindh Health Department, Karachi's Aga Khan Hospital confirmed the diagnosis in a female patient who came from abroad.

The health department said they were trying to find out the travel history and trace her contact.

However, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has said that It’s not a confirmed case. The patient should be referred as a ‘suspected patient’.

NCOC maintained that the private hospital did not perform the complete genome of the patient.

Sindh Parliamentary Secretary for Health Qasim Soomro told SAMAA Digital that the family is not cooperating. They are not revealing who they were in contact with recently, Soomro said.

The secretary said that the hospital administration was not willing discharge the patient but her family took her.

We are involving administration and police to take action against people who don’t cooperate with health authorities, he said.

On December 1, five Pakistani passengers tested positive for Covid-19 at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport after arriving from Saudi Arabia.

Authorities had moved them to a quarantine facility and sent their samples to a laboratory to determine the Covid-19 variant they were infected with.

The development comes amid heightened alert in view after Saudi Arabia detected its first case of the Omicron variant.

Omicron to inevitably hit Pakistan’

Earlier, the NCOC chief Asad Umar had said that it is inevitable that the COVID-19’s Omicron variant will hit Pakistan because it is impossible to stop viruses from spreading in this world. 

Speaking at a press conference last week, he said that the NCOC is taking steps to delay the arrival and minimize the impact of the new variant. “We are ramping up the number of coronavirus tests. We will conduct testing in the high-risk areas,” said Umar. 

The government has, on the other hand, approved booster shots for health workers, people above the age of 50, and immunocompromised people. They are being administered Pfizer, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Moderna jabs. free of cost.





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