Brazilian, South African variants of Covid-19 found in Pakistan
Brazilian/South African variants of Covid-19/ ISLAMABAD: The Brazilian and South African variants of Covid-19 have been detected in Pakistan,
a spokesperson for the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed on Saturday.
He said both strains were found in samples the NIH received for testing,
raising fears that these variants with a higher mortality rate could put a strain on the country’s
already overwhelmed health facilities.
Also Read: 146 more die of Covid-19, 4,696 infected across Pakistan
The spokesperson said they were continuously monitoring different Covid variants.
“The national health ministry and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC)
have their eyes on various strains of the virus,” he added.
Stressing that following SOPs is the first line of defence, the spokesperson urged people
to adhere to health guidelines, including wearing masks and social distancing, to keep the deadly disease at bay.
Also Read: Over 5,000 Covid-19 patients on oxygen in Pakistan: Asad Umar
Earlier, Sindh Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechuhu said in a video message that at least 10 British,
two South African, and one Brazilian virus variants have been detected in Karachi.
“The Brazilian and South African strains of the virus have a higher mortality rate,
and also the efficacy of the vaccine is not that significant against them,” Pechuhu said.
Brazilian/South African variants of Covid-19/ “Yesterday 13 samples underwent genomic study at the Agha Khan University Hospital, of these 10 were of the UK variant, and 2 were of the [South] Africa and Brazil variants”, Minister for Health & Population Welfare, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho said on Friday.
The highly contagious variants were discovered at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, which has also reported the most deaths in any city, accounting for 3,903 of the country’s 17,811 deaths.
Some 820,823 cases have been detected in the country, with 5,112 in the last 24 hours,
according to the National Command Operation Center (NCOC), which oversees the government’s pandemic response.
“You can see these strains and the kind of pressure that can be put on our health facilities,” Pechuho said.
“If you contract the Brazilian or South African variants, you can become extremely ill.
however Pakistan has seen record deaths in recent days from the coronavirus, and stricter restrictions on movement and gathering in public are planned for the upcoming Eid holiday.
likewise Officials are worried the country’s health care system, already under strain,
could reach breaking point if more contagious variants of the virus begin to spread, as has happened in neighboring India.
“This should be an alarm bell for our health system,” Pechucho said.
“Our hospitals can be overwhelmed, our ventilators and beds will not be enough, and you have also already seen this happen in India.”