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National Institutes of Health confirms 75 cases of Omicron variant in Pakistan



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ISLAMABAD:– The National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Tuesday confirmed 75 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus in Pakistan.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 17 cases were reported in Islamabad, 33 in Karachi and 13 in Lahore and 12 cases of omicron were detected in people coming from abroad.

Authorities are conducting contact tracing to prevent the spread of omicron.

On Monday, sources privy to the Punjab health department said that as many as 12 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus had been detected in Lahore.

The sources further said that seven patients belonged to Johar Town while five others were residents of Defense area. The samples of patients were taken on December 23.

On December 13, first omicron case was reported in Karachi.

The cases of Omicron variant, which is highly infectious, have been rising in the country and so far all four provinces have reported cases of this new strain.

Stringent, proactive measures

On December 2, Pakistan braced itself to counter the impending threat by taking a string of stringent and proactive measures.

Pakistani experts and officials believed that the emergence of Omicron further underlined the importance of nationwide vigorous vaccination drive and adherence to basic preventative measures of wearing masks and maintaining social distance to fight against Omicron that the World Health Organization named a “variant of concern.”

Asad Umar, chairman of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) which oversees the country s response to the pandemic, earlier this week urged the Pakistani people to get fully vaccinated in order to protect themselves from the new variant.

“Omicron is wreaking havoc. It will also eventually affect Pakistan as well… The variant has spread across the world and it will be impossible to stop it from entering Pakistan because the world is so inter-connected… the logical solution to thwart the new variant is full vaccination,” Umar said.

The NCOC had also announced to ban direct or indirect inbound travel from some countries and regions including South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, among others, with immediate effect to stop the spread of Omicron.

The country’s worst-affected southern Sindh province in terms of COVID-19 infections, imposed fresh restrictions to tackle the imminent threat of Omicron, particularly in districts with a slow pace of vaccinations.

According to the notification issued by the provincial government, business activities are allowed to continue until 10:00pm, however, pharmacies, grocery stores and other essential services will be able to operate 24 hours.

The Sindh government also limited the attendance of people in hotels, restaurants and wedding halls, according to the notification, adding that only vaccinated individuals will be allowed to take part in activities related to tourism, board a flight, and enter parks.

291 coronavirus cases

Earlier today, Pakistan reported 3 deaths in the last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 1,294,031. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 28,912.

According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) 291 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Province-wise Details

Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Till now 13,066 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 7,663 in Sindh 5,922 in KP, 966 in Islamabad, 746 in Azad Kashmir, 363 in Balochistan, and 186 in GB.

Pakistan has so far conducted 23,234,148 coronavirus tests and 41,869 in the last 24 hours. 1,255,204 patients have recovered in the country whereas 636 patients are in critical condition.

Furthermore 480,901 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 444,670 in Punjab 181,247 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 108,502 in Islamabad, 34,657 in Azad Kashmir 33,625 in Balochistan and 10,429 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Tests and Recoveries

Pakistan has so far conducted 23,234,148 coronavirus tests and 41,869 in the last 24 hours. 1,255,204 patients have recovered in the country whereas 636 patients are in critical condition.

Positivity Ratio

The COVID-19 positivity ratio was recorded at 0.69 percent.

Vaccine Statistics

So far, 92,086,806 people have received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine including 771,159 in last 24 hours. 65,149,948 citizens have been fully vaccinated while 841,430 received their second dose in last 24 hours.

The number of total administered doses has reached to 148,265,690 with 1,336,509 in the last 24 hours.

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