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No Omicron case detected in Pakistan as of yet: SAPM Dr Faisal Sultan

Dr Faisal Sultan

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Faisal Sultan. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Faisal Sultan confirmed on Thursday that no Omicron  case has been detected in the country as of yet.

“First of all no case of Omncron has been detected in Pakistan as of yet,” said SAPM Dr Sultan while talking to the media in Islamabad.

The country’s health czar said that the virus apart from transferring from one person to another and also travels from one country to another. He added that the precautions against the Omicron variant is similar to what was used in dealing with the initial types of COVID-19 such as using masks, social distancing and administering the vaccine.

Read more: Re-intensify vaccination campaign only way to tackle Omicron, says Asad Umar

Dr Sultan maintained that the government had already made the announcement regarding the Covid booster shots, adding that authorities are also focusing on targeting the unvaccinated citizens.

Replying to a question about recently-released audit report pointing out irregularities in Covid-19 and Ehsaas relief programmes, Dr Sultan said that the Ehsaas management and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) could better answer those questions.

The new Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation by South Africa on November 24 and has spread worldwide rapidly.

Read more: Pakistan restricts travel from six African countries, Hong Kong over new Covid variant

More than two dozen countries and territories have now detected cases, extending to India on Thursday and the United States on Wednesday, among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic since it first emerged nearly two years ago.

The WHO has cautioned that it could take weeks to discover if Omicron is more transmissible, and whether it causes more severe disease — as well as how effective current treatments and vaccines are against it.

Authorities in Pakistan are also on alert ever since the variant emerged.

Asad Umar, chief of the National Command and Operation Centre, has maintained that the only way to tackle the threat of the new Omicron variant was to delay the arrival of the virus in Pakistan by taking prompt actions and re-intensify the vaccination campaign across the country by utilizing extra resources.

Read more: India announces first two cases of Omicron variant

“The vaccination process was already going on but now we are going to escalate the process and within two or three days, a reinforced vaccination campaign would start in all the provinces to minimise threat of the new variant (Omicron),” minister for special initiatives had said in a press briefing earlier this week.

Apart from intensifying vaccination efforts the Pakistani authorities have also restricted travel from six African countries and Hong Kong over the emergence of the new coronavirus variant.

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