Pakistan reports first ‘suspected’ case of Omicron type in Karachi woman

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said Pakistan on Wednesday reported its first “suspected” case of the new coronavirus variant Omicron in a woman in Karachi, adding that a genomic study was being conducted to confirm it.

In a video message, she said a genomic study of the coronavirus patient sample was not done, but “the way the virus is behaving, it seems to be an oomicron.”

She further said that the patient was 57 years old.

“Omicron is very contagious but can cause death or serious [conditions] Not seen in recent reports coming from South Africa (where the first variant was detected). There is no cause for concern. We are doing a genomic study which will take a week or two.”

He said it would be confirmed after the study is completed whether the woman was infected with the Omicron variant.

“The virus also spreads because people are not vaccinated. This woman was not even vaccinated. I urge you to take a second dose and if you are fully vaccinated, take a booster dose . It can protect you,” he insisted.

The minister’s statement came hours after his spokesperson Mehr Khurshid confirmed the detection of the first Omicron case in a Karachi woman. She said the infected woman had not been vaccinated and was admitted to the Aga Khan University Hospital for treatment.

According to a letter written by the district health officer of Karachi’s Eastern District to the provincial director general of health, the regional disease surveillance and response unit in the metropolis “reported the first case of the new COVID-19 ‘Omicron’ variant on December 8, 2021.” , at 7 pm”.

letter, a copy of which is available with, said the woman, who was 65 years of age, had not been vaccinated and had no travel history. She was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday and was in isolation at home.

The letter said that the rapid response team was “immediately taken on board” for tracing, testing, quarantining, vaccination and other preventive measures to control the spread of the infection as per the guidelines of the National Command and Operation Centre.

The district health team also “immediately” contacted the woman’s family to take a detailed history and trace her contacts.

According to the letter, the Deputy Commissioner of the district was also requested to take necessary action – micro smart lockdown.

A statement issued by Aga Khan University Hospital later in the day said the hospital had received “the first suspected patient”. [having] Covid-19 Omron Edition”.

A hospital spokesperson said, “We are waiting for the results of the final (genome sequencing) confirmatory test, which will take a few days. We have reported the suspected patient to the health department for their action. The patient did well and he was found to be doing well.” been discharged.” Anam Haleem said in the statement.

He said the hospital’s prevention and management protocols are adequate to treat the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The ‘inevitable’ arrival

Last month, Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan were sounded the alarm, adding that the arrival of the Omicron version was inevitable and a matter of time.

“This [strain] It has to be spread all over the world as we saw earlier that when a variant comes out, the world is so interconnected that it is impossible to stop,” Omar had said, adding that vaccination was the most logical solution to curb the menace.

On 30 November the Sindh government issued new guidelines – Effective from 1-15 December – To prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in view of the threat posed by the new version.

Curb Kovid-19 in Sindh:

  • Indoor, outdoor gatherings are permitted for vaccinated individuals. For Karachi, Sukkur and Sanghar there is a limit of 500 for indoor events and 1,000 for outdoor events. For the rest of the province, it is 300 for indoor and 1,000 for outdoor.
  • Indoor meals are allowed for vaccinated people until 11:59 p.m. 70 pcs for Karachi, Sukkur and Sanghar and 50 pcs for rest of the province.
  • Outside meals are allowed until 11:59 pm for fully vaccinated citizens.
  • Markets and businesses can function till 10 pm while essential services can operate 24/7.
  • Temples, indoor gyms and cinemas are open to fully vaccinated individuals.
  • 100% attendance in offices with regular timings.
  • Amusement parks and swimming pools will operate at 70 pcs in Karachi, Sukkur and Sanghar and 50 pcs for the rest of the province.

The Sindh chief secretary had also directed the district administration to demonstrate its full commitment to implement non-drug interventions and take strict action against violators.

Sindh’s health department had earlier decided to vaccinate all residents with Pfizer’s booster shot, keeping in mind the increased risk of transmission and reinfection posed by the Omicron variant.

travel ban

Pakistan on November 27 imposed a complete ban on travel from six South African countries – South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia – and Hong Kong.

This travel ban Later it was extended to nine more countries – Croatia, Hungary, Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland and Zimbabwe.

Additionally, the NCOC placed 13 countries in Category B, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Russia, Thailand, France, Austria, Afghanistan and Turkey.

All travelers to these countries are required to be fully vaccinated, while all those over the age of six must have a negative PCR test report issued 48 hours prior to boarding.

Omicron is classified by the World Health Organization as a “highly permeable” variant – the same category that includes the major delta variant.