No Cases Of New Coronavirus Variant Reported In Pakistan

Web DeskJanuary 5, 2024
No Cases Of New Coronavirus Variant Reported In Pakistan

Caretaker Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan stated on Friday that Pakistan has not reported any cases of the new Covid-19 variant, JN.1 Omicron, but emphasized the nation’s readiness, maintaining a “red alert” status. This declaration followed the federal government’s decision to procure 500,000 doses of a Covid vaccine as a precautionary measure against the potential resurgence of the Omicron variant globally.

The procurement plan involves obtaining Pfizer vaccines from the US, as recommended by the Emergency Operation Centre’s (EOC) technical advisory group due to the emerging threat of the JN.1 variant. An estimated 200,000 doses are expected to arrive in the coming week, with the remainder scheduled for subsequent phases.

Read more : Pakistan Set to Receive 500,000 Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Speaking in the Senate, the health minister highlighted Pakistan’s vigilant monitoring of the new variant and emphasized the government’s proactive “red alert” stance. He underscored ongoing efforts to establish widespread lab testing systems across districts to facilitate extensive population testing.

Furthermore, the government issued three advisories on the matter, urging the Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to disseminate these advisories through television channels.

Simultaneously, the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIH) issued an advisory to provinces concerning the mutating strain. The advisory categorized JN.1 as a Variant of Interest (VOI), pointing out genetic changes that could impact transmissibility, disease severity, and immune response, among other factors.

The NIH advisory emphasized the rapid growth observed across WHO regions, particularly in the Americas, Western Pacific, and European regions. It stressed the necessity for proactive measures to manage a potential influx of patients over the next few weeks.

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