Pakistan confirms three cases of UK coronavirus variant in Karachi
Pakistan on Tuesday confirmed officially that the United Kingdom’s new variant of coronavirus has reached its territory as three cases were reported in Sindh from among the UK-returned passengers, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
“12 samples of UK returnees were taken for genotyping out of which six were positive and three showed the new variant of the Covid virus in the first phase,” the health department said. "The genotyping showed 95 percent match of the new variant from the UK. These samples will go through another phase of genotyping," said Meeran Yousuf, spokesperson for the Sindh health department.
"Meanwhile, the contact tracing of these patients is in process and their contacts are also being isolated," she said in a tweet.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) already extended its ban on flights from the United Kingdom until January 4, 2021. It is pertinent to note that Pakistan last week banned flights from the UK until December 29 after a new strain of coronavirus emerged there.
The CAA said restriction is applicable to all direct and indirect flights from the UK and it will also apply to all persons travelling from the UK who have been there for 10 days.
Pakistani passport holders who travelled to the UK on visit or temporary visas will be allowed to return if they fulfill the following conditions including: they have a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours prior to the flight, passengers will be required to stay at the airport or in a government facility until a PCR test on arrival in Pakistan and mandatory home quarantine for seven days.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization Director General said, “There will be setbacks and new challenges in 2021, like new variants of COVID19. At present, we are working closely with scientists to better understand any and all changes to the virus and how these changes affect its ability to spread, or any potential impact on available tools.”