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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

70% COVID strain from Britain: Dr Yasmin Rashid

In a press conference, Dr Yasmin states that the new British variant is responsible for the spike in COVID cases due to its high infectivity rate. The government should initiate a lockdown in infected areas of Pakistan.

In a recent press conference, Dr Yasmin Rashid addressed the surge in COVID cases in Pakistan. According to statistical data, 70 per cent of the COVID strain came from Britain and is responsible for initiating the third wave of the virus.

In a report shared by the Government, another 53 deaths have been reported while 2,258 new virus cases have emerged during the past 24 hours.

Read more: Pakistan sees highest COVID-19 fatalities in 4 months

The new strain has infected many cities with Gujranwala having the highest infectivity rate of 9%. Multan and Lahore have witnessed an increase of 8% while the infectivity rate in Faisalabad is 6%. Comparatively, Rawalpindi has the lowest rate of COVID cases as its infectivity rate is 4%.

“Variant of concern”

After studying the genetic mutations of the virus, Dr Yasmin stated that the majority of the people were infected by the Wuhan strain, however, 70 per cent of the strain infecting Lahore, Jhelum, Okara and Gujrat, is of British origins which is incidentally more infectious.

The new British strain, which is also known as the “Variant of Concern”, is more contagious and has a faster infectious rate. After detailed discussions with NCOC, Dr Yasmin said that this new variant is responsible for the spike in COVID cases as people from the UK travelled to Pakistan in recent days.

Read more: Has the new mutated Covid-19 strain reached Pakistan?

As per Dr Yasmin, many people did not take COVID seriously as SOPs were not followed and people stopped wearing masks. She also agrees that the Government’s premature decision to re-open educational institutes contributed to many people getting infected.

Precautionary measures

The alarming increase in COVID cases has prompted the government to initiate a lockdown in Punjab by closing all educational institutes, starting from Monday. Strict SOPs have once again been put in place as the government attempts to contain the virus in the affected areas.

Read more: Schools to be closed as third wave of Covid-19 hits

According to decisions by NCOC, smart and micro lockdowns will be imposed in Punjab where the cases are the highest. All outdoor activities will be subjected to strict restrictions. 50% of work from a home policy will be implemented at the discretion of federating units and will be enforced in Islamabad with immediate effect.

Dr Yasmin urges the population to get vaccinated if they can. Vaccination is being administered on a priority basis to health care workers and the elderly population. In the last 24 hours, more than 96000 health works have been vaccinated.