Pakistani detected by Indian variant of Covid-19

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ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday released details of the only confirmed Pakistani infected by the Indian variant of Covid-19.

The NCOC shared details of the Pakistani citizen who had contracted the Indian strain, and claimed that effective screening and quarantine for international travellers had prevented secondary infections of the variant (B.1.617.2).

In a statement, it was informed that according to details shared by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the variant was detected in an asymptomatic Pakistani individual aged 39 years who was a resident of Azad Kashmir and had returned from a Gulf country.

“The case was picked through a screening system put in place for international arrivals when he landed on May 8 and showed a positive rapid test conducted at the airport. As per standard operating procedures (SOPs), he was quarantined at a government facility where additional testing (PCR) confirmed the presence of the Indian variant. The individual, however, had only mild symptoms during the quarantine period and was allowed to proceed home after completely recovering and upon completing mandatory isolation with further advice as per medical protocols,” the statement said.

It further said that the investigation team traced his family and contacts in the district of his residence and obtained their samples, which came back negative.

“The NIH team is further tracing his potential contacts during the air travel to rule out possibilities of infections,” the statement added.

“Appreciating the efficient screening and isolation system put in place for international travellers, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has stressed on airlines to strictly enforce SOPs for travellers, including mandatory test report from an authentic lab from the country of origin, it said, adding that the ministry had further urged the public to strictly observe the advised precautionary measures to stay protected from risks around them.

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