Pakistan detects first case of Omicron sub-variant

Islamabad, May 9 (IANS) Pakistan has detected its first case of the Omicron sub-variant, the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, reported on Monday, as the public gets back to routine life after Eidul Fitr celebrations without COVID-19 restrictions for the first time in two years, Geo News reported.

A statement issued by the NIH on Twitter said it detected a case of Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1 through genome sequencing. It said that the new sub-variant is causing an increasing number of Covid cases in different countries.

The NIH advised people to take the best preventive measure to avoid contracting the virus.

“We strongly recommend getting vaccinated and all those due for boosters must get the shots immediately,” the NIH said.

Director General for Health, Rana Muhammad Safdar, told Geo TV that the Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1 was detected in a traveller who had returned from Qatar.

Stating that this sub-variant is seen in the recent spike in cases in the US, Safdar said, “The disease severity and hospitalisation remain the same as Omicron but data is limited as of now.”

Pakistan reported 64 new Covid-19 cases overnight, official data issued by the NIH showed on Monday. With the fresh cases, the positivity ratio stood at 0.49 per cent. However, no deaths were reported during the last 24 hours.

Pakistanis have more or less not been following any Covid related standard operating procedures since March 31, when the government scrapped all coronavirus restrictions across the country, Geo News reported.