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New coronavirus strain yet not detected in Pakistan

Karachi: The Ministry of National Health Services, emphasized that the new strain of the coronavirus recently indicated in Britain, has not made it to Pakistan yet.

The ministry further added the situation in Pakistan is being monitored closely as all the passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (UK) are being evaluated medically.

“As of today, no such variant of the SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in Pakistan,” it said in a statement issued on Twitter. “The National Institute of Health is sensitive and on alert regarding this new strain for timely detection and promulgation”

Pakistan reported 2,152 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, raising the national tally to 467,222. With 85 new deaths, the country’s coronavirus death toll reached 9,753. So far, a total of 418,958 people have recovered from the virus while the active number of cases stands at 38,511.

Although the new strain, referred to by some experts as B.1.1.7 lineage, is not the first variant of the coronavirus pandemic but it is considered to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible.

Abbottabad records highest coronavirus positivity ratio: NCOC

Moreover, after the British government officially announced the detection of the mutation, many countries, including Pakistan, have imposed travel bans on the UK.

Scientists say there is no proof that vaccines currently being used in the UK, made by Pfizer and BioNtech or other COVID-19 shots in development will not protect against this variant.

At least four drug-makers expect their COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the new fast-spreading variant of the virus that is surging in Britain and is performing tests that should provide further confirmation in a few weeks.

December 28, 2020

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