May 7, 2021

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Pakistan confirms first three cases of new UK variant of coronavirus in Karachi

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Sindh Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechuho informed on Monday that the South African and Brazilian variants of the novel coronavirus disease have been found in samples taken by the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).

In a video message posted on the Sindh Health and Population Welfare Department’s official Twitter account, the provincial health minister disclosed that the AKUH collected 13 samples to perform a genomic study confirming the variants of the virus.

She added that out of these samples, 10 were of the UK variant, two of the South African variant while the other was found to be of the Brazilian variant.

Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio jumped to 9.6% on Thursday after the country reported over 5,000 new infections.

According to the official data provided by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 5,480 people tested positive for the coronavirus, after 57,013 tests were conducted across the country.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases now stands at 815,711, with 281,385 cases and 4,629 deaths reported in Sindh so far.

Pakistan, India, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Jordan, and Hong Kong suspended travel for Britons after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a mutated variant of the virus, up to 70% more transmissible, had been identified in the country. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman also closed their borders completely.

Several other nations have suspended travel from Britain including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Israel, and Canada — although scientists said the strain may already be circulating in countries with less advanced detection methods than the United Kingdom.

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