COVID-19 crisis: First case of highly infectious B.1.617 coronavirus variant found in Pakistan
In May, authorities in Thailand had confirmed the country's first cases of the variant, first identified in India, was found in Thai travellers who had visited Pakistan
Islamabad: The first-ever case of the highly infectious B.1.617 variant of coronavirus, first identified in India, has been detected in Pakistan despite a ban on travellers from the neighbouring country since April, the country's top health institute in Islamabad has said.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) on Friday shared the results of whole-genome sequencing of SARS CoV-2 samples collected during the first three weeks of May 2021, The Express Tribune reported on Friday.
The sequencing results confirmed the detection of seven cases of B.1.351 [South African variant] and one case of B.1.617.2 [first identified in India]. This is the first in-country detection of the latter strain, the NIH said in a statement.
As per protocols, contact tracing of all the cases is in progress by the Field Epidemiology & Disease Surveillance Division and District Health Office (DHO), Islamabad, the report said.
The NIH said the continued detection of global strains highlighted the ongoing need for observation of guidelines, usage of masks and need for vaccination.
After India's outbreak of COVID-19 fuelled by the new strain earlier this year, Pakistan in April imposed a ban on travellers arriving from the neighbouring country via the air, sea and land routes, he report said.
However, in May, the variant was detected in Thai travellers who had visited Pakistan, the report said.
Health authorities in Thailand had confirmed the country's first cases of the variant first identified in India in a Thai woman and her 4-year-old son who were reportedly put in state quarantine since arriving from Pakistan, it said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said that the B.1.617 strain of coronavirus was found in dozens of countries all over the world.
The sensor used in the mask can respond to as little as 0.3 microlitres of liquid containing viral proteins, about 70 to 560 times less than the volume of liquid produced in one sneeze and much less than the volume produced by coughing or talking
The active cases comprise 0.11 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has increased to 98.71 per cent, the health ministry said
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health said the second wave was undoubtedly marred by high cases, increased deaths, shortage of oxygen and beds in hospitals, reduced supplies of medicines and other important drugs