Pakistan Reports First Case of COVID-19 Omicron Variant

Pakistan has reported the first case of the highly mutated Omicron variant of the Coronavirus, Sindh Health Department has confirmed.

According to details, a 65-year-old female patient who was brought for some other treatment at the Aga Khan University (AKU) Hospital in Karachi has been diagnosed with Omicron strain, which was first detected in South Africa around two weeks ago.

In an official statement, the media coordinator for the provincial health department, Meher Khurshid, said that the patient was unvaccinated against Coronavirus and demonstrated no symptoms of the viral infection.

The administration of AKU Hospital has discharged the patient after the necessary treatment and directed her to isolate at home.

Meher added that the patient claimed that she had come to Pakistan from abroad, a claim which is being verified through her family and concerned authorities. Since the patient was unvaccinated, it is highly unlikely that she traveled to Pakistan because partially or unvaccinated travelers are not allowed to travel by air anywhere in the world.

On the other hand, credible media outlets have confirmed that she doesn’t have any travel history. This means that the woman had contracted the Omicron variant in Pakistan and the most mutated strain of COVID-19 to date has been circulating in the country for some time now.

In the meanwhile, the provincial health department has started the process of tracing, testing, and quarantining all of her close contacts in a bid to contain the transmission of Omicron strain, said Meher.

So far, two close contacts of the 65-year-old patient have been diagnosed with COVID-19 but they do not have the Omicron variant. Both patients have been admitted to AKU Hospital for further treatment.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner (DC) District East Karachi, on the recommendation of the District Health Officer (DHO) District East, has ordered to impose micro smart lockdown in and around the residence of the woman and her close contacts.

Meher requested the masses to exercise precautionary measures such as wearing facemasks in public and hand washing or hand sanitizing frequently to avoid contracting the new variant.

She also urged partially or unvaccinated citizens and those eligible for booster jabs to get themselves vaccinated against the Coronavirus at the earliest from their nearest mass vaccination centers (MVCs).