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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Has the new mutated Covid-19 strain reached Pakistan?

The newfound strain is being evaluated in Karachi University, informed Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, the Chairman of Prime Minister's Task Force on Coronavirus.

Reports of a new mutated strain of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom caused a frenzy in the surrounding regions as well as in the media, to the extent that Pakistan and India temporarily suspended flights coming from the UK. According to Geo News, a similar mutated strain to the one identified in the UK has been found in Karachi. 

There is no official confirmation as of now because the newfound strain is being evaluated in Karachi University, informed Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, the Chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Coronavirus. More than 200 pharmaceutical companies are trying to develop a vaccine to fight the novel coronavirus, he added.

Read more: Pakistan might get Covid-19 vaccine early next year: Dr. Faisal Sultan

He further emphasized the importance of locally-based research work so that Pakistani scientists are able to develop virus vaccines in the country. 

Keeping in mind the current state of Covid-19, on NCOC’s recommendation, the Federal Ministry of Health has given directives to test and trace every individual who has been traveling from the UK to Pakistan before 22nd December. 

Read more: Pakistan, India suspend flights from UK amid new COVID-19 strain

Pakistan on 21st December had joined several countries in banning flights from the UK due to concerns over a fast-spreading new coronavirus strain. A notification issued by the Aviation Division said the temporary restriction will apply to inbound travelers from the UK and people who have been in the UK over the past 10 days.

“Restriction to be effective from midnight Dec. 22, 2020, until midnight Dec. 29, 2020,” read the statement.

Read more: Are Pakistan’s health systems prepared for a COVID-19 vaccine?

The move came as several European countries – including Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, and Austria – announced the suspension of flights from the UK amid news of a variant of coronavirus.
 

The World Health Organization (WHO) also asked European countries to redouble their health measures amid the new virus strain.

India said it was also joining other countries in temporarily suspending all flights from Britain after the emergence of a new and more infectious strain of coronavirus there.

“Considering the prevailing situation in UK. Govt. of India has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India to be suspended till 31st December 2020,” the aviation ministry said in a tweet.

Read more: Are Pakistan’s health systems prepared for a COVID-19 vaccine?