New Omicron variant entered Pakistan from Qatar
A new sub-variant of the Omicron coronavirus variant entered Pakistan from Qatar when a person infected with the virus traveled to the country, officials told a meeting at the ministry of health on Tuesday.
The meeting was presided over by Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel. Representatives from all the provincial governments participated via video link.
Health officials said that the person who had traveled from Qatar had mild Covid-19 symptoms and has since fully recovered.
All the members of the patient’s family tested negative for coronavirus, they said.
The federal health minister said that the government was monitoring the situation and there was no cause for alarm.
Testing and vaccination must be enhanced though, he said.
“The situation is under control right now but we must stay vigilant,” said the minister according to a government release.
General Aamer Ikram (NIH) gave an overview of the situation in the country.
“Only one case was detected recently and we are closely monitoring the spread” Said General Aamer Ikram.
The detection of new sub-variant was first reported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Monday when it said a single case had been reported.
The new variant is named “ Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1.
“NIH has detected the first case of Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1. This new sub-variant is causing increasing number of cases in different countries,” the NIH tweeted.
Experts believe the new variant may spread rapidly like Omicron but it may not be more virulent and certainly not as deadly as the Delta variant, which claimed a large number of lives in India last year.
After the sub-variant was detected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered on Tuesday to immediately restore National Command and Operation Centre as the Omicron sub-variant case has been reported in Pakistan.
Health Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb told reporters in Islamabad that the question of who would heath the NCOC would be settled by Wednesday.